Before there was national attention and a smattering of fans from coast to coast, there were two men, and they called themselves Pinback.
Rob Crow and Armistead Burwell Smith IV provide the songwriting chops, Tom Zinser — formerly of Three Mile Pilot — lays down the backbeat on the drums, and listeners get to enjoy the organic nuances of tunes such as “Prog,” from their 2001 album Blue Screen Life.
If the State Theatre bears out its reputation as a relatively intimate concert venue, Pinback’s Saturday appearance will be one in which setting and musical act match up in terms of their presentation.
Pinback’s material ranges from home recordings of earlier efforts to the more refined production of Blue Screen Life. One can see that Crow and company have turned a corner and decided to let their listeners taste a slice of progress through the band’s evolution.
It wasn’t always calm within this cabal of musical geniuses, as their biography on Ace Fu Records’ site confirms — the band had contractual complications with their previous label, Tim/Kerr Records, which signed Pinback for worldwide distribution rights.
Pinback, in spite of a band name that sounds frightfully similar to lesser band Nickelback, is one of the west coast bands who haven’t yet reached national recognition, proving that talent itself is not enough to be successful. The band’s music stands to be as influential as those of Chicago post-rockers Tortoise or the genial, bespectacled Rivers Cuomo. In an ideal universe, consumers would be confusing Nickelback for Pinback, not vice versa.
Free from the contractual constraints of the band’s former label, Pinback’s future looks brighter, carrying a solid, humming buzz generated by critical fanfare from alt-country/indie connoisseurs who like similarly successful bands Pavement and Modest Mouse. Audiences at Saturday’s concert need only infer that nuggets such as “Concrete Seconds” could have only issued forth from the minds of those who wish for people’s attention and not their pecuniary devotion.
Enveloped by the claps, vocalizations, and airy lyrics of “Penelope” and “Seville” in their live renditions, concertgoers will cease to care about such things as breadth of scene, credibility, or the friend by their side. Pinback will be delivering the purest of aural manifestoes, and their ears will come to understand the steps through which music adopts a grander meaning.
To be sure, Pinback is a treat for Tampa Bay. When west coast heroes, extremely talented and equally underrated, finally make their way to the East, Tampa Bay isn’t a big priority.
This is a must-see concert for those out there who love well-crafted, 3-4 minute pop ballads.
Pinback plays Saturday. Doors open at 8p.m. Tickets are $10.