One could say that Pinecones was a band meant to be. Comprising of close friends Bo Orr, Brain Atoms, Ryan Evers, and Ben Sallie, the foursome have been playing music together for nearly a decade dating back to their high school days. However, the quartet embarked on different projects due to circumstance (Orr temporarily moved to New England) and just different interests (Orr fronted Dead in the Dirt, a dark, black metal / grindcore outfit, while Atoms performed with punk group Crater), but they never lost touch and would play together from time-to-time.
In 2012, the Athens and Atlanta residents finally decided to make Pinecones a reality. After some demos, the quartet entered the studio on April 1, 2014 and then did overdubs on Good Friday. It’s not a coincidence that the band chose these dates. As Orr explains, “We’re a band of fools who recorded an album on April Fool’s Day and then we resurrected it and added more on Good Friday.” And the product of these sessions? An album that is hard to categorize but can simply be called a wide-ranging, rock ‘n roll album.
Orr’s raspy voice might lead one to assume the band would be more of a grindrock or metal group a la his other project. Given the background of Orr and Atoms, another assumption would be that the album could be a flat out, non-stop rocker. On the contrary, it’s surprising melodic at times and the pace from track to track is terrific. The opening song, “Tears from Your Skin”, is a beautiful display of restraint for the first half, as the quartet imitates The Cure and Explosions in the Sky with a 2 minute, 45 second instrumental before Orr’s vocals kick in, but the pace never quickens. “Cosmos”, which was featured on the January 30th playlist, follows, and it is a hook-laden, awesome rocker and one of a few songs where the band does get close to going into overdrive.
“Halo Crown” has traces of prog rock, but it doesn’t get too proggy. It’s another fantastic track to be bobbing your head. “Apocalypse Twin”, meanwhile, echoes of ’70s and ’80s rock with the likes of The Black Crowes and even Bruce Springsteen. The song wouldn’t be out of place on The Men’s terrific Tomorrow’s Hits album, which paid tribute to rock ‘n roll created 30 and 40 years ago.
“Ocean at the Center” might best exemplify the mixture of genres by Pinecones with its post-punk flair akin to Parquet Courts and even a bit of The Ramones, a touch of surf rock, and roaring riffs that would make classic rock bands proud. And if this song doesn’t prove to you the band’s diversity, then “The Love Song” or the ’70s-esque, mood-swinging “Sleep is Forget” just might.
Sings For You Now might be an album that could easily be forgotten because it’s not the most accessible one. However, it is an album that must be listened to as a whole, not as individual tracks, and on multiple occasions to appreciate what Pinecones are attempting to achieve and the subtle brilliance found across the album.
Website – Pinecones blog
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