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The High Price Of Living Too Long With a Single Dream (LOV036)

01. Begin Here
02 Varsity
03. Let It Be
04. Peterson Home
05. Well-Calibrated Moral Compass
06. Won't Be Long Now
07. For The Love of Everything
08. Interested in Endings

"The city is broken again. If you don't believe me, take a look at your friends." And thus begins the final track on Pinebender's second full-length, The High Price of Living Too Long With a Single Dream (THPOLTLWASD). In many ways it's doubtful that the Chicago natives' city is anywhere near broken, at least not artistically. If you take a quick look at the city's prolific musical output in the past year, Chicago seems to be intent on recasting itself as a forward-thinking renaissance, but like most movements/moments, nobody is nearly self-conscious or sober enough to take note.

It's a rare Chicago night that you don't run into Pinebender's Chris Hansen; always soft-spoken and accommodating, it's hard to believe his band brings forth one of the most sonically grand live shows in town. "Playing down-tempo and very loud lets us lull the audiences into submission," says Hansen. "Loud" is an understatement: it's as if the band fell off a cliff and hit "Record" on the very moment of impact. The instrumentation of the band is vital to that sound. Hansen continues, "Just before we started playing together, Matt had traded in some gear for a baritone guitar. The instrument worked perfectly in the band. Not only does it sound great, but the baritone can serve as both the low-end rhythm and lead guitar."

Pinebender's Lovitt debut finds the band landing beautiful combinations. The record's "balls"-heavy guitar cannonades are always balanced with astute dynamics. A sense of quietude offsets the bombast, leaving the song brewing with some threat of explosion, a direct (though most likely unaware) response to the oft-fey, post-post rock lineage that led the city through most of the last decade.

THPOLTLWASD is a 48-minute celebration of impossible designs, love lost, and fond farewells to old vices and good friends. "I wrote most of these songs at times when the rug had been pulled out from under me, or when I was looking to have the rug pulled out from under me again. Many things had changed up on me. Good friends that I figured would always be around began moving away. I came up with some unsound remedies for that realization. The city I love had gotten expansive and empty for a little while." THPOLTLWASD is a distinctive, crystallized expression of uncertainty, and its expansive barrage of sound crashes and thunders with a mischievous confidence.

Pinebender has performed with such renowned acts as Yo La Tengo, And You Will Know Us By Trail Of Dead, Jets To Brazil, J. Mascis, Cinerama, Silkworm, Grandaddy, Denali, Engine Down, Shiner, 90 Day Men, Joan of Arc, Scrawl, Gaunt, Eleventh Dream Day, Poster Children, and Pedro The Lion.

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