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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Horace Pinker
Texas One Ten
Thick Records

Rating: 6/10 ?

May 16, 2005
Horace Pinker has been kicking around for ages, demonstrating a longevity not typically reserved for punk rock outfits. Starting in 1991 in Arizona and finally settling in Chicago in 1996, Texas One Ten is their fourth full length release in roughly 15 years, joining a variety of seven inches, countless compilations, and endless touring.

[Double take]: 15 years? That's more than half my lifetime! Horace Pinker existed before, and has since outlived, my obsession with punk rock. I remember the weekly trips to Record Breakers, rummaging through every single new and used CD shelf for punk bands worth listening to - my record collection saturated with over 100 bands on approximately five record labels, and only slight variation between their sound and talent.

It was during the tail end of my young, directionless punk rock existence that I finally stumbled upon Horace Pinker, after discovering that Chris Bauermeister (former Jawbreaker bassist - and anyone that doesn't think Jawbreaker is still the best punk band on the planet is a communist) joined, and since left, their ranks. It was a pleasant relationship between Horace and me, and here we are again standing before each other, shuffling our feet and wondering what to say.

With five years passed between releases (their most recent full length being Pop Culture Failure, debuting in 2000), Horace Pinker seem to have altered their sound only slightly. Where as Pop Culture Failure was polished, melodic and driving, Texas One Ten is a bit rougher - but no less melodic - and slightly more paced. The album brandishes moments of the energetic emotional punk that made their previous efforts appealing, but the pace is slightly slower, with their energy somewhat diminished by the daily continuation of their marathon career.

Relying more on distortion - most notably vocally - the album produces a harder sound and edge. It's not indistinguishable from previous material, however, since Scott Eastman's melodic vocal drone, one of Horace Pinker's strong points, is still on display for many songs.

"More At Home," and accompanying track "Retrospective," are pedestal songs on Texas One Ten, showcasing some of the album's, and the band's, stronger points: they create emotionally driven punk songs with catchy hooks, powerfully melodic lead and backing vocals, and songs that are made to hum along to. These are the moments that keep Horace Pinker in my record collection, and while they seem a bit sparser in 2005, they're no less compelling to listen to.

Reviewed by David Spain
Based in Chicago, Illinois, David Spain is a contributing writer for LAS magazine.

See other reviews by David Spain



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