Pinebender – Things Are About To Get Weird

July 25, 2014

I was looking through the CD section at Princeton Record Exchange once when I saw a used copy of the Pinebender album The High Price Of Living Too Long With A Single Dream for $4.99. I grabbed it because the name looked familiar, but I couldn’t place where I’d heard it. Later I would recall reading  about the band on the Electrical Audio forum, but in that moment it was a purchase I made on a whim. I’ll never remember the first time I loaded it into the car CD player and “Begin Here” led off the record with an extended intro long enough to make me wonder if the disc was defective. Then the full band kicks in and although my first reaction was, “It’s kinda ’emo'” after a few minutes it started to grow on me. It was heavy, and it rocked, and the more I heard the more I enjoyed. By the time I got to the end of the record I wanted more.

Unfortunately, back in those days, getting Pinebender albums wasn’t that easy. I had to resort to saved searches on eBay until I found a copy of Too Good To Be True, the five-track EP packaged with graph paper and a pencil to help you “draw your own cover.” As for Things Are About To Get Weird, the group’s first release (CD only at the time), that one eluded me for quite some time. When I finally procured a copy I hailed it one of my favorite rock records and began checking compulsively for news about a vinyl reissue. It took a few years, but way back in 2006 there’s a blog post where I mention hearing about a new record and a vinyl reissue of Things… 

I sent my old friend Jet to a Pinebender show in Chicago to pick up the vinyl for me, because I was still living in Jersey at the time and they were only selling the double-LP (limited edition of 200) at their local shows. I could not contain my excitement upon receiving it on November 13th, 2006. I tore into the shrink wrap and opened the gatefold (mine is copy #33/200) and…what the fuck? There was condom inside the gatefold. I immediately grabbed my phone and called Jet to thank her for the bonus gift. It didn’t take long for us both to realize that…uh…I had torn off shrink wrap to unseal the record. Jet couldn’t possibly have hidden a condom in the gatefold for me to find. We were both a bit creeped out by that realization. She said she’d contact one of the band members and ask if it was a joke. Eventually I heard back from her, it wasn’t. Her advice? “Don’t use the condom.”

I can’t remember if I threw it out or it’s still in there…the album is back in New Jersey so I won’t know until I combine the East Coast and West Coast “wings” of my record collection.

Oh yeah, and in case you’re wondering how this relates to the An Album A Day theme this week (“HOUSING PROJECT”) it’s because there’s a song on here called “So, This Is Your Apartment”. Make sense? Good.

Also, the vinyl reissue includes a bonus track that did not appear on the CD release, a cover of the Low song “Landlord” from Songs For A Dead Pilot. Which is perfect, because that means there’s TWO housing-related songs on this record! How fortuitous!

“There’s A Bag Of Weights In The Back Of My Car” remains my favorite Pinebender tune. Or maybe I like “Last Drag Queen” (off Too Good To Be True) more. I go back and forth. Either way, I fucking love Pinebender. I want a vinyl reissue of The High Price… and if no one else is working on one I’d like to throw my hat in the ring and offer my label as a home for it. If anyone from Pinebender is reading this and wants me to reissue it, shoot me an email.

Until then, go find Things Are About To Get Weird and enjoy.

Pinebender
Things Are About To Get Weird

(Record Label – RL18, 2006)

A1. There’s A Bag Of Weights In The Back Of My Car
A2. Kick It
B1. New Balance
B2. Before The Calm Was Lost
B3. Simp Twister
C1. An F Cat Can Play Fetch Too
C2. So, This Is Your Apartment [MP3]
C3. Not How It Will Happen
D1. California
D2. The Depth Of The Silence That Was Reigning Over The Veranda
D3. Landlord [Low]

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