Before they were the touring behemoth they later became, Pinback was simply a project for members of Three Mile Pilot and Heavy Vegetable to hone their songwriting craft. Early on they produced two distinctive EPs which have now been collected together onto one slab of vinyl. Pinback have always made super soft super literate guitar pop and here their beginnings have been remastered and presented in a way that stands up as a full album and not the collection of outtakes EPs can sometimes become.
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 15 March 2017
This is a collection of two of Pinback’s earliest EPs shoehorned together to create what is effectively a sixth album by the San Diego duo.
Pinback have long been a much loved band of mine - an outfit who have moments of true greatness - ‘Tripoli’, ‘Penelope’ for example- but never sound anything less than utterly pleasant. Their earlier work lacks the emo feel that seeped through on some of their later albums - a generally good thing as it allows these clever literate songs to shine through. ‘Manchuria’ does everything I like about this band in one three minute sweep. Catchy verses, an even catchier chorus, tangled harmonies intertwining all led by Rob Crow’s seemingly elasticated voice. Then perfect point where the Dismemberment Plan merest XTC.
And it’s songs like this that keep us going. Pinback are sometimes to clinical to truly emote and it’s easy to think of them as pop boffins in the manner of Field Music, perhaps lacking a musical heart. But their music is frequently lovely... and these two EPs blend beautifully.
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