San Diego hardcore boys gone sensitive, Pinback has been a well-kept secret for years. Duo Rob Crow and Zach Smith originally did time in bands Thingy and Three Mile Pilot (two of whose members went on to found Black Heart Procession) before taking on Pinback full-time in 1999. After a couple of remarkable records on small Jersey label Ace Fu, they have released Summer in Abaddon on Touch and Go. This masterpiece poises them for a well-deserved entrée into the indie big leagues.

Recorded partly in Crow's bedroom, the album is a finely crafted piece of introspective rock and fragile love songs. Abaddon is a biblical term for destruction and ruin, and the motif of bitterness is evidenced in lines like, "If I could reach your throat, I could strangle you all." Indicative of its move toward more ambitious production, the band's signature complementary guitars are at the forefront, this time accompanied by additional instrumentation. In essence an affirmation of Pinback's talent, Summer in Abaddon is bound to generate the groundswell the band deserves.

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