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 of 2002.
 
How does Pinebender make so much beautiful noise with so few instruments? Decide for yourself.

 

MP3 / Track 2 : Kick It : from Pinebender's "Things Are About to Get Weird"

 

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