Pinder Brothers 2015


Melancholy Sea

Affecting observations running the gamut of moods from a pair of art-rock-related siblings.

They live in California, but Michael and Matt Pinder’s third album is a quintessentially English record, one delicately textured in a hazy way with a note of psych for a lasting aftertaste. It’s all in the blood, presumably, the artists’ father being Mike Pinder whose Mellotron, together with another MOODY BLUES alumnus Ray Thomas’ flute, glimmer in closer “Summer Moon” as if to mirror the upbeat, albeit elegiac, opener “Same Mistake” where Michael handles both these, and more, instruments. Yet there’s a pop-rock, not prog, idiom at play here.

The titular sweet mellowness may run all over “Pictures Of Rachel” and “Driving You Home” but glimpses into dewy-eyed romanticism are undercut with a heavy guitar, and riffs pepper the conversation of “Talk To You” in a rather aggressive manner before the harmonies of the piece’s middle eight let the sunshine in. Matt’s tracks are molded even harder, though, as he delegates the twang of “Overboard” to Stef Burns – the famous axeman also folding the infectious funk of “Crash Down” – and spikes the anxious punch of “Trust Being You” with his own bluesy slide. Still, as far as concepts go, this song cycle – which can be linked in its celestial body slant to Pinder Sr’s "Among The Stars" that the brothers played on – dances around the seasons, the acoustic strum of “Pale December” painting an arrestingly bleak landscape with another look up to the skies and leading the way to the countrified “Last Days Of Summer.”

But “Here We Go” offers the kind of optimism that, without following the calendar flow, measures the depth of this sadness in anthemic terms. As a result, living this contradiction, the Pinder brothers deliver a silvery delight – the melancholy rarely comes so melodious.


June 16, 2015

Category(s): Reviews
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