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Autumn of the Seraphs (Bonus Track Version)


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Album Review

Creators of some of the most intricately and expertly woven indie rock of the 2000s, Pinback don't disappoint with their fourth record, Autumn of the Seraphs. As twin cogs Zach Smith and Rob Crow have matured, they've grown from (slightly) meandering mopes to expert constructors of songs that reveal hidden layers with nearly every listen. Acolytes of the Police, the group channel their energy into a fluid dynamic of songwriting, performance, and production. "From Nothing to Nowhere" is a driving opener, but from there Pinback go in unexpected directions. Early highlights "Barnes" and "Good to Sea" twist a recipe of individual ingredients — wistful harmonies, plangent basslines, spidery guitars, and wry lyrics ("it's good to see's good to see you go") — into an excellent dish. Aside from their own majority contributions, the duo get help from a pair of drummers — Mario Rubalcaba (Rocket from the Crypt, Hot Snakes, Sea of Tombs) and Chris Prescott (No Knife) — and use programmed beats on several tracks. The effect is a good one, since Pinback have always relied on the precision of their arrangements and their wintry sound to carry the effect of their dour songs.

Customer Reviews

Pinback does it again

Another great album by a fantastic band. Pinback has yet to write a SONG that I didn't like, and Autumn of the Seraphs contains no exceptions. A must buy for anyone who likes great music.

Hooked on Pinback

Pinback continues with their winning formula for the music, which is multi-layered instrumentation with many facets and vocals (both of them sing.) The lyrics are the usual poetic-cryptic and all of this together is melodic and harmonious. ‘Good To Sea’ (no one ever sounded so appealing singing “oh no, I hit rock bottom.”), ‘How We Breathe’ (love the chorus), ‘Bouquet’ and ‘Torch’ are all favourite tracks, as is ‘Walters’ (based on the true story of Larry Walters.) ‘Blue Harvest’ is uptempo and just a great track. It’s clear they deliberately kicked it up a notch for this album as ‘Subbing For Eden’, ‘Devil You Know’, ‘From Nothing to Nowhere’, ‘Barnes’ and ‘Off By 50’ are rockier tracks, compared to their typical mellow sound; it works for them. ‘The Hatenaughts of Melancholy Wall’ is a brilliant track. The vocals remind me of Yes’ Jon Anderson (I’m thinking “90125.”) I wasn’t even a Yes fan but it’s hard to forget their sound. I’m glad I decided to get the hard copy CD with the limited bonus CD containing 3 tracks: ‘I’m A Pretty Lady’, ‘Kylie,’ and ‘Autumn Of The Seraphs.’ All are excellent, especially ‘Kylie.’

Another Great One

These guys just can't write a bad song. Always catchy and inventive pop music. Good to Sea is a perfect litle tune.


Formed: 1998 in San Diego, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

While a rotating cast of instrumentalists finds loose assembly under the Pinback name, the partnership of Armistead Burwell Smith IV and Rob Crow is at the heart of the some of the most complex, postmodern indie pop happening on the West Coast. In the first few days of 1998, Smith (of San Diego-based Three Mile Pilot) and Crow (of Thingy and Heavy Vegetable) formed a part-time recording project under the name Pinback. The simple plan grew more involved while Three Mile Pilot took an indefinite hiatus...
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