Putatively named after Dan O'Bannon's character in John Carpenter's shlocky 1974 science-fiction film Dark Star, this band was started in San Diego in 1998 by Three Mile Pilot's Armistead Burwell Smith IV and Rob Crow, who had been involved in various experimental bands of the time, including Heavy Vegetable. While the outfit didn't exactly invent math rock, it did take a certain musical precision and employ it in inventive, emotionally expressive ways rather than using the music as a mere display of technical prowess. Thanks to 2001's Blue Screen Life, Pinback broke away from being a truly underground phenomenon, while the band's three subsequent albums revealed its breadth of creativity. Last year's Information Retrieved finds the band working its signature textures into entrancing, transporting atmospheres.


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