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In a world where indie rock has become the Next Big Thing and marketing plans exist before the music, Pinback's sincerity is a joy. Zach Smith and Rob Crow have no identifiable image, no signature wardrobes or hairstyles, and they've created three albums of such peculiar pop that no major-label exec worth his annual bonus would touch them. On last year's Summer in Abaddon, songs like "Non Photo-Blue" ("She's posting all the time, but the boards are down") and "AFK" -- an oblique ode about attempting to preserve a relationship through instant messaging -- Pinback blends virtual and conventional instrumentation in a way that draws attention to neither, while the lyrics similarly reconcile the organic subtlety of human emotions with the blunt digital media often used to express them. If Joy Division became a Beach Boys tribute band (the Joy Boys?), Pinback might have been the delightfully perplexing, ingenuous result.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.