The third full-length solo album from Pinback front man Rob Crow sounds exactly like one might expect it to: like Pinback. Over the past decade, Crow has acquired a fan base around his remarkably consistent sound. His aesthetic is built around swirling guitar lines, a relaxed mood, a soft vocal delivery, and a 50/50 mix of real drums and drum machines. This album showcases all of the above. He has shown minimal interest in messing with a formula that works, and to his credit he has maintained a following by doing so.
What has been one of Rob Crow (and Pinback’s) greatest strengths is also one of his biggest weaknesses. Crow has developed a sound that is fairly unique, and does manage to stand out in the crowed field of 2000s indie rock. However, within his body of work there is a tendency for the songs to blur together in a manner more typical of punk bands.
There is an interestingly dark sense of humor showcased in He Thinks He’s People. One song in particular stands out in that regard is “Locking Seth Putnam in a Hot Topic.” Putnam was the frontman of grindcore band Anal Cunt, until his death in June 2011.
Fans of Pinback should be pleased with He Thinks He’s People. For all intents and purposes, this is another Pinback album, even if it lacks the bass work of Armistead Burwell Smith IV. Just in case any diehard fan is not content, the fifth Pinback LP Information Retrieved is due out in early 2012.
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