While “I Hate You, Rob Crow” might lack the signature harmonies of Pinback’s best work, Mr. Crow definitely did not miss the confident, subtle melodies of his main band’s guitar pop. The song is tailor-made to be a lead single—it’s full of energy, with smooth, catchy, Thurston Moore verses in between loud anthemic choruses. The song only lasts two-and-a-half minutes, but every moment of it gets stuck deep in your head. Unfortunately, the first b-side on the single, “Sea Sawn”, isn’t nearly as successful. Crow’s attempt at a synth-heavy instrumental winds up sounding too new agey, with the synthesizer way too over-the-top for a bass and drum beat that, when left alone in the middle of the song, sounds solid enough to be worthy of some rockin’ guitar and vocals. Luckily, second b-side “Slick” brings the rock back in a heavy dose. This song is grimier and more brooding than typical Pinback fare and serves as a nice counterpoint to the a-side. Overall, two out of three ain’t bad. Also included is a video for “I Hate You, Rob Crow” with a “surgical” performance by Crow that is nearly as entertaining as the song itself. If Pinback fans are on the fence about Crow’s solo work, this single has enough to convince them his stuff is not only worth it, but that it stands up as more of a confident solo record than a cast-off side project.
// Notes from the Road
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