Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Proceed to Memory” by Pinback from the 2012 album Information Retrieved on Temporary Residence Ltd.
Led by singer/multi-instrumentalists Armistead Burwell Smith IV (a.k.a. Zach Smith) and Rob Crow, San Diego’s Pinback has been crafting prog-influenced electronic rock since 1998. Eschewing both traditional songwriting structure and onstage roles, Smith and Crow often alternate between instruments and lead vocals both on the record and in a live setting, resulting in an agile-but-deft interplay between the two. After steadily releasing material until 2007, the duo took some time away from Pinback, though while focusing on other projects still managed to start work on Information Retrieved in April 2009. This Fall, the fifth LP is manifesting itself five years after their last, but the seemingly laborious process has apparently paid off.
The opening track on Information Retrieved, “Proceed to Memory” is an accessible introduction for listeners who may have not been tuned in for Pinback’s first run and a welcome return for longtime fans. Impeccably crafted section by section, the song opens with a resonating and echoing guitar lick over an electronic beat before introducing a wave of soaring vocals and crashing drums. Singing “And soon all you’ll have is the memory/And then you won’t even have that memory” as the individual sections overlap in a swirling crescendo at the end of the song, it’s clear Pinback have shaken off any rust they may have gained during the break and that the California duo are still firing on all cylinders nearly 15 years later.
Pinback is on tour in support of Information Retrieved this Fall, but aside from a string of dates in their native California, they’re avoiding the West Coast for the moment. Keep an eye on their website and Facebook for any future tour announcements. Information Retrieved arrives in stores on October 16th, but until then, watch the band perform their 2004 song “Sender” at a 4AD live session last year: