Non Photo-BlueSummer In Abaddon
FortressSummer In Abaddon
SoakedSummer In Abaddon
Good To SeaAutumn Of The Seraphs
From Nothing To NowhereAutumn Of The Seraphs
Devil You KnowAutumn Of The Seraphs
Off By 50Autumn Of The Seraphs
Proceed To MemoryInformation Retrieved
His PhaseInformation Retrieved
A RequestInformation Retrieved


Pinback playlist



Contributors: Jerry Tenenbaum & Lucretia van den Berg

We’ll keep this short and hopefully sweet. We were in San Diego at a meeting and were shopping on a beautiful sunny day. Looking at garish short sleeve shirts, blasting from the speakers in the store was a sound that appealed to the nth degree. We asked, “Who is that?” The girl behind the counter replied, “They are Pinback. They are local and we love them.”

Pinback was formed in 1998 by two musicians, Rob Crow and Armistead Burwell Smith IV. The group name sources from a character in Dark Star, a 1974 film. Over the years, they have (as have many more recent bands) had a loose assembly of players with Smith IV and Crow as constants. After a number of complicated contractual issues, 1999 finally saw the release of their first album to positive reviews. EPs and another release were followed in 2004 by Summer In Abaddon for Touch and Go records and their popularity soared. Music was described as melodic with complex song structure. Nautical Antiques collected a number of B-sides and other songs from the early years. Autumn Of The Seraphs in 2007 established the group and was accompanied by a tour. Sadly, we missed them at The Opera House in Toronto that year. Information Retrieved in 2012 is their latest album and it has also been well received. (Again we missed them at Lee’s Palace in 2013).

To us, Pinback is an example of the continually progressive current ‘indie’ music scene (not really ‘indie’ but those who listen to Death Cab For Cutie, Shins, The National and others know what we mean; the word ‘indie’ has taken on a meaning of its own). We hear Kensington Market (see toppermost #245) in a few of their songs and it reminded us of the first glimpses of this music form.

Choosing songs again is a difficult job because they are in the main all very good. This topper-ten has been selected from the three major albums. Please feel free to seek and find and add to this list.


Pinback bandcamp

Pinback biography (Apple Music)

TopperPost #287


  1. Jerry Tenenbaum
    Jun 7, 2014

    Soundcheck: Since no one has found the inspiration to comment on the last few of my entries, I started to think about reasons why this was so. Not enough time to check out so much music available here and all over came to mind as the chief reason. That has to be true because I too am guilty of this ‘infraction’. The stimulus to listen to music one has never heard is the chief benefit of this site and I encourage all to listen when/if there is time. That goes for other entries by all of us. There is excellent music still to be heard – past, present and future. (Pinback, Shriekback, etc. for me but many other worthy performers are here for the listening).

    • Ilkka Jauramo
      Jun 7, 2014

      A personal reflection: because English is my second language (actually the fourth, to be exact) I feel playing in a lower division. Maybe I should comment in Finnish to match your high quality articles?

  2. David Lewis
    Jun 9, 2014

    Don’t despair Jerry. I have thoroughly enjoyed all your articles. They have educated me. I look forward to the next ones. Keep up the good work.

  3. Ian Ashleigh
    Jun 9, 2014

    I’ll echo David’s sentiments, and with apologies to our host, I’ve not been too vocal on the comments front recently. Note to self: must do better.
    (Not at all, Ian. I had never heard Pinback before but found them to be right up my street. A comment to that effect seemed redundant though. My thanks again to Jerry for the intro – for that’s what this is all about!! Ed.)

  4. Andrew Shields
    Jun 10, 2014

    When I have not received any comments on pieces that I have written, I have presumed that the crystalline perfection of my prose has rendered any further comment pleonastic and redundant…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.