Pinback's songs have always been metronome precise, with airtight rhythmic patterns and guitars and synthesizers that bounce along in lock-step cadences, as if the band members had been implanted with silicon indie rock chips that map out intricate algorithms of texture. While acts like Radiohead and Grandaddy profess to fear the same technology they implement in making records, Pinback's Rob Crow and Armistead Burwell Smith IV don't make a distinction between human and computer; they're one and the same. Listening to Summer in Abaddon, however, you wish they'd rewrite the program. While the pair's last full-length, Blue Screen Life, explored new melodies and different rhythms, Abaddon never strays from the formula, giving listeners 10 songs of similar tempo and melodic choices — with very few memorable moments. You've got to give the band credit for creating its own sound and sticking with it, but this latest offering leaves one yearning for a Version 2.0.
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