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Blue Screen Life

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Album Review

On the band's second album, Blue Screen Life, Pinback redefines its classic emo sound into something lush and personal. Quirky pop harmonies swirl into indie rock bliss and sweeping acoustics explore the bandmembers' grand air as they make a sound for themselves. Songs such as "Boo" and "XIY" showcase Pinback's growing musicianship and an intelligence similar to the likes of Built to Spill and Elliott Smith. "Prog" and "West" are both sweetly tainted with delicate percussion arrangements and hushing vocals — however, it's not incredibly outstanding. Blue Screen Life is a progression for Pinback, and internal complexities inside the band's songs are quite obvious. It's not unique or brilliant; it's a healthy dose of Pinback's satisfaction in keeping things simple — lyrically and musically.

Customer Reviews


I heard Fortress on the radio, and i was instantly hooked on pinback's unique sound. I bought Summer of Abbadon and Blue Screen Life, and they are two of my favorite albums. Every song on this cd is great, and a few standouts are "Penelope", "bbtone", "Offline p.k.", and "Seville". Unlike most bands around today, you can listen to a Pinback record from start to finish, not just the singles.

Lo-Fi Genius

Pinback has had their very own sound crafted from the first release. The process of maturity can be depicted through each album, yet their work remains always true to its personality of multi- layered clean guitars, hip hop rooted beats, and amazing hushed vox that resemble more of a mystic instrument than they do a voice. I disagree with the album review that refers to the Pinback sound as emo, whereas, at first glance the lyrics and progressions hint at heartache or simple distress...but listen closely to the undertone message and you will find that Pinback dives much deeper than most of their peers. It may be un-just to call Pinback anything other than, well, Pinback.


Honestly...there is not one song that is better then another; opening with Offline P.K. is so incredible. The album flows so delicately and smoothly that it could be contained into one mega-song. Among my favorites are Concrete Seconds, XIY, Prog, Your Sickness, Seville, Offline P.K., and of course, Tres. Honestly, no matter what music you listen to, you will instantly be hooked...who can avoid Pinback?


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...
Full Bio
Blue Screen Life, Pinback
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Customer Ratings


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