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Pinball’s evocative debut is both a lively and emotional entry into the world of post-rock that you won’t likely forget any time soon.

Consisting of Australian and French musicians that jam around Paris, Pinball play a rather unique blend of atmospheric prog rock that occasionally flirts with spacey psychedelia. Sauntering rhythms, odd time signatures and reverberating chromatic guitar solos set this record into a dreamy atmosphere. Yet it’s the frequent instances of Melissa Cox’s violin taking lead that pushes this album to be something memorable and evocatively surreal.

Songs like the title track have melodies that could have fit on a Portishead album, guitar that is steeped heavily in Spiritualized-esque space rock, and violin work and rhythm sections that cast strong Bèla Fleck and David Grisman vibes. This is a mix of styles and sounds that by all means, usually cannot work, and yet…it not only flies here, it completely makes this album.

Take a listen to “Lambington,” for example. The melancholic tempo and cold chord progression paints a heartbroken scene, but it’s the addition of Cox’s violin solos that makes the song truly raw. It at times is reminiscent of the rare version of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” that featured Stéphane Grappelli on violin.

Somber, striking and undoubtedly genuine, Pinball is an album that gives this band one hell of a strong first impression. I for one, am on the edge of my seat waiting to hear what they do next.

-KH


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