Pinebender is a band
from Chicago, Illinois formed in the late fall of 1997 when friends Matt
Clark, Chris Hansen, and Stephen Howard decided they would attempt to
make something out of a handful of songs Hansen had penned. Stephen would
play the drums, Matt would play an electric baritone guitar, and Chris
would play a strangely tuned electric guitar and provide the vocals. They
would rehearse in Stephen's old bedroom at his folk's home in the Chicago
suburb of Wilmette. They would rehearse on Saturdays. They would play
very, very loud.
From the beginning the boys felt they were onto something good. Strange
chords supported by the baritone guitar in a dual role as a rhythm and
lead instrument. Stephen kept the tempos slow, eventually deciding that
about fifty-eight beats per minute worked quite nicely.
The Drudge was born.
In April of 1998 the band went into Electrical Audio in Chicago, Illinois
to record a five song EP. Greg Norman engineered the three day session.
The resulting reels of tape stored the basic Pinebender formula:
Catchy Songs + Guitars, Guitars, Guitars + Throbbing Tempos + Slow + Loud
+ Rocking Melody = volume
Unfortunately trouble with a so-called record label would prevent the
release of the EP, aptly titled Too Good To Be True.
Encouraged by their initial recordings and continuing support from local
clubs, the Lounge Ax and the Empty Bottle, Pinebender began playing more
dates and writing more songs. In February of 1999 the band again settled
into cozy Electrical Audio. With Steve Albini engineering, Pinebender
recorded the songs for Things Are About To Get Weird (OHAU-008), their
critically acclaimed debut full-length on the band's new home, Ohio Gold
Records. The studio's collection of analog equipment and microphones combined
with Mr. Albini's recording expertise captured the sound of the band perfectly.
Truly an amazing sounding recording. At times shimmering and beautiful,
then quickly becoming powerful, almost menacing. TAATGW is ten tracks
of ten-mile-wide distorted guitars and strong-armed, down-tempo drumming.
The songs range from deceptive pop to epic, psychedelic slow burners.
The fifty-nine and a half minute cd offers a twelve and a half minute
dirge and just one incredible and lengthy guitar solo. TAATGW was
released on OG in April of 2000.
Thanks to Ohio Gold Records the Too Good To Be True EP (OHAU-010) was
recently rescued, dusted off, and released in April of 2002. The four
year old EP provides an opportunity to peer into the early ideas that
lead to Things Are About To Get Weird and the follow-up full length titled
The High Price Of Living Too Long With A Single Dream due out in the summer
How does Pinebender make so much beautiful noise with so few instruments?
Decide for yourself.
/ Track 2 : Kick
It : from Pinebender's
"Things Are About to Get Weird"