Rob Crow & Zach Smith
Pinback is the brainchild of the band’s key members, Armistead “Zach” Burwell Smith IV and Rob Crow, who have developed some of the best composed indie rock to date. All you need to hear for proof is “Offline P.K.”, the first track off of their album Blue Screen Life. The song sounds like a beautiful chaos, which is appropriate for the subject matter. “Offline P.K.” is about the craziness revolving around our reliance on computers, especially when they cease to function. The title of the song, “Offline P.K.”, stands for “Offline Primary Key”. A primary key, for those who don’t know, is some attribute that is used to identify a body of information. So if it’s offline then you’re kinda left in the dark. Now I am definitely not up to snuff on my computer terminology, so when I looked up the lyrics for this song I did some research and found there were tons of little pieces of jargon used for computers. Like a “silver bullet”, which refers to a quick and easy solution for a problem. A silver bullet is usually referred to as something that doesn’t exist (i.e. “There’s no silver bullet for this.”).
But I’m not here to teach you about computer terms, however I will note that the terms are used emphasize the chaos inherent in our computer reliant society (well, that’s the point Pinback is trying to get across). And the way the lyrics are arranged in the song creates a subtle feeling of chaos. While one of the vocalists erratically sings the lines, “The shock was fast / Shock, fast / The shock was fast,” the other sings the lines, “Blown cover / Break, fix / Dead computer,” in an erratic way as well. The result of which is that even though the vocalists are singing at the same time, each word is heard indivdually and the listener is also left with an almost robotic rhythm in their head.
There’s definitely a lot more I could say about the song, but I think you should just experience it yourself as opposed to letting me do it for you.