Not So Bitter Harvest
After summering in Abaddon for their last outing three years ago, Pinback return with another solid, seasonally titled gem. While Autumn of the Seraphs offers little in the way of surprises, it does find the duo of Zach Smith and Rob Grow subtly but surely growing as songwriters and musicians.Eons removed from the slight, meandering quality of their earlier records, Smith and Crowâ€šÃ„Ã´s cog-like interplay has simultaneously grown tighter and looser, with funky, spunky melodies and sharp hooks punctuated by a combination of live (Mario Rubalcaba and Chris Prescott to be exact) and programmed drumming. Lyrically, theyâ€šÃ„Ã´ve matured while still maintaining a playfulness that suits the breezy thrust of the music. For every lament like â€šÃ„ÃºOh no, I hit rock bottom,â€šÃ„Ã¹ thereâ€šÃ„Ã´s a coy couplet like â€šÃ„ÃºItâ€šÃ„Ã´s good to see you/ Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s good to see you go.â€šÃ„Ã¹
ame The duoâ€šÃ„Ã´s consistency from song to song often makes it difficult to select individual highlights. A decent argument could be made for almost any track here being single-worthy. Having said that, the choice they ultimately went with, opener â€šÃ„ÃºFrom Nothing to Nowhere,â€šÃ„Ã¹ was a good one. Its propulsive beat, â€šÃ„ÃºRock Lobsterâ€šÃ„Ã¹ -poaching guitar lick, and wistful yet assertive vocals announce themselves and the album with a commanding sense of purpose, making the listener all too eager to press on through subsequent tracks. Other noteworthy numbers include the patiently paced â€šÃ„ÃºHow We Breatheâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and the more electronic based â€šÃ„ÃºTorch,â€šÃ„Ã¹ the latter playing like a softer, sweeter TV on the Radio.
ame Make no mistake: There is no reinventing of the wheel here, but damned if Pinback donâ€šÃ„Ã´t keep it rolling swift and steady, with nary a bump on the road. Depending on how the leaves fall during this season of Smith and Crowâ€šÃ„Ã´s career, thereâ€šÃ„Ã´s no reason to think that the winter of their discontent should be any less compelling.