Music » Critics' Picks

Pinback with Minus the Bear

Monday, March 17; Rocket Bar


Guinness. Kilts. Fiddles. Clogs. Green V-neck sweaters. IRA car bombs. Vomit outside McGurk's at two o'clock in the morning. This is what St. Patrick's Day is all about for the average Missouri meathead. But fear not, amateur rock critics: Pinback arrives in the nick of time to administer a decidedly mellow brand of pop-rock that's the perfect antidote to gnarly chunks of corned beef on the cold mid-March pavement.

For the dozen-or-so West Coast expats who call St. Louis home, Pinback's stripped-down, Pavement-on-Thorazine sonic tableau might conjure gold sand and ocean memories, if only for a night. The San Diego duo -- consisting of Rob Crow and Three Mile Pilot founder Armistead "Zach" Smith -- have unapologetically maintained the midtempo tone of soothing slackerdom throughout their two full-length releases, confessing aspirations that rise no higher than a desire to make pretty little pop tunes. Though their roots are in SoCal, their sound stands at the forefront of the Pacific Northwest's vibrant post-grunge movement. A little pretentious? Sure. But that's what the STP (Seattle-to-Portland) scene and, frankly, the Rocket Bar are all about. Hence Pinback will transport you to a place of cosmopolitan, horn-rimmed, self-conscious bliss. So bust out the flip-flops and Hobie Cat tank tops, order a Blue Hawaiian and tune out the Irish whiskey, sista. This is hush-hush zeitgeist, hardly the sort of humble fiesta St. Patrick would endorse. Fuck him.

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