Pinback's third disc is crammed full of bipolar mood swings. Balancing precariously between tightfisted intensity and big-hearted affability, the duo of Zach Smith and Rob Crow juggles gorgeous melodies, numinous lyrics and lush instrumentation. Full of mysterious fragments and unanswerable questions, "Fortress" is driven by a dorky drum machine and spiked with an absolutely contagious, if equally mysterious, chorus. On "AFK," a completely different, almost ballad-esque track, disorienting shots and staccato guitars undercut the sweetness. While Pinback sounds like a band that hasn't yet gotten its medication right, Summer in Abaddon is still a unique and satisfying effort -- the perfect soundtrack for your next breakup or breakdown.


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