Although their press release claims Horace Pinker to be one of contemporary punk’s most underrated bands, I feel that the amount of attention directed towards them is proportionate to their mediocrity. Numerous line-up and location changes point to instability among the band’s ranks, and whatever sincerity found in the music can’t cover up the fact that it is ground that’s been well tread countless times before.
Pop Culture Failure, their latest effort evokes nary a thread of interest from this reviewer, for the simple fact that it’s been done so many times before. Even the addition of ex-Jawbreaker bassist Chris Bauermeister (which the band seems to be banking on as their ticket to the Big Time—please, I’ve yet to meet someone who has told me, “Yeah, Jawbreaker—their bassist was fuckin’ amazing!”) does little to make things interesting. Sure the band writes catchy songs—pretty melodic melodies not unlike Jimmy Eat World, Face to Face, or Superchunk—but there is something vapid and missing, like a sense of self-worth. Wearing your heart on your sleeve doesn’t always evoke sympathy points, especially when it’s coming from the 4th tier.