Everyone remembers that awkward phase of their senior year when their emo friends started putting away their Taking Back Sunday CDs, possibly deleting their Dashboard Confessional mp3s and getting into a sort of transitional funk. Bands that helped cleanse black fingernails and knit scarves were Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley, Minus the Bear and, of course, Pinback. Pinback’s latest release, Information Retrieved, isn’t a drastic change from their mellow efforts of the past decade.
“Proceed To Memory” is a twinkly, poppy practice in sadness. Sounding a lot like a peppier Death Cab For Cutie, Rob Crow and Armistead Burwell Smith IV belt out “oohs” and “ahhs” while reminding the listener that all we have are memories. “Drawstring” has a dramatic piano opening, accented by lightly palm-muted guitar. This type of no-frills, back to basics indie reminds the listener of a better time, when Seattle was all the rage, baggy jeans looked good on everyone and shaggy hair was the norm. Of course, the math-y, post-hardcore guitar comes from the band’s San Diego origins. “A Request” is a dusty, Southern-rock sway-a-long. By now, your flannel is drenched, you’re eight beers deep and all you wanna do is find a burrito.
Pinback proves it’s okay to be “chill” without adding “wave” or “gaze” at the end of it. Again, much hasn’t changed from Pinback’s 2007 release, Autumn of the Seraphs. Maybe indie needs to go back to intentionally trying to sound, for lack of a better word, “hip,” and just sound honest. Where Information Retrieved lacks in innovation and “edginess,” sincere lyricism and great melodies prevail.