Band: HORACE PINKERGenres: Punk / Rock / Post-Punk / Pop Punk / Emo / Alternative / Hardcore
Related artists: Jawbreaker, Mutoid Men, RVIVR, Shorebirds, The Reputation, Lynyrd's Innards and Sweet Cobra.
Country: Tempe, Arizona & Chicago, Illinois USA
Years Active: 1991-present
Song: "Second Best"
Album: "Pop Culture Failure"
Label(s): Jump Up! Records / Coldfront Records / Earwax Records / Onefoot Records / Thick Records / Arctic Rodeo Recordings / Rhetoric Records / Hard Records / Evade Records / Blurr Records / Fat Wreck Chords / Off Time Records / V.M.L. Records
This post's artist is from the January 2014 Mix. This is track #10.
You can download: the March Mix#3 right here or get the new April 2015 Mix#4 here.
For fans of: Thursday, In Pieces, Propagandhi, Jawbreaker, Moneen, Fugazi, Bracket, Guiltmaker, Alkaline Trio, Nada Surf, Over It and 88 Fingers Louie.
I remember hearing HORACE PINKER and I was like meh, terrible vocals. And upon relistening now I stand behind that viewpoint as their early work has vocals that your ears need to autotune for you. But then, I heard a song on one of my brother's 2-disc compilations called 'Punk Ass Generosity'. The song was titled "Supposed To" and the first thing that stood out to me was the vocals. They were amazing. It was like Chris Conley (Saves The Day) and Matt (Bigwig) intertwined their melodies and sounds (respectively) and combined them with an instrumental attack so thick and intricate that I was smitten. So as a wee lad (about 17 or so) I scoured every record/cd shop as well as many places online for 'Pop Culture Failure' which the songs was pulled from. After pretty much giving up, I went to some random cd shop in Barrie, Ontario only to stumble across this cd as well as Randy's "The Rest is Silence" and lose my goddamn mind.
On my initial review of HORACE PINKER's 'Pop Culture Failure' garnered a whopping 97/100 on my high school (circa 2000) punk review website on Geocities. Yep, fuckin' Geocities. I was in love with the LP. It combined power punk rock, hardcore, skate-punk, rock, alternative and emo with vocals that were eerily similar to Geoff Rickley from Thursday in that he always kind of sounds like he has a cold. A kicker to the vocals for me was the infectious and beautifully harmonized backing vocals that work as a true counterpart to Scott Eastman's very unique style. The guitars are very complex without being in the least bit silly. "Refined" hugely influenced my bass playing, along with lots of Tool, as with this record it was Karl Efrig on bass, who also added some backup vocals but was replaced by Chris Bauermeister on the following EP. Seriously, this album was monumental for me. From a purely retrospective standpoint, I think HORACE PINKER during their prime sounded like a bastard mix of Fugazi and Nada Surf along with.Thursday as more punk and less hardcore. "Second Best" is the perfect opener with no lulls or boring parts in the song, just four minutes of awesome punk/skate-punk/alternative/hardcore music with a chorus that rang as my personal anthem for over a decade, "I'm not what I thought I'd really want to be but it's like when you're never really satisfied. When it comes around to me I'll always second guess. Second best. It's a slow drink sipping away. It's the best you never had. So when I come around I think you better meet me halfway. Failure, it's all I'll be, is a failure". The song that sold the album for me "Supposed To" follows and is a whirlwind compared to the first track as it blasts through at double the speed and incorporates a lot more yelling/screaming but retains the soaring choruses. "Doorway" is the perfect closer and another heavy song with a viral chorus that you'll be singing for days.
'Pop Culture Failure' preceded 'Copper Regret' as they both were released in 2000. Besides the addition of Jawbreaker's Bauermeister on bass this record has a very different feel. It sounds much less refined and lacks the depth of the LP. It's good, don't get me wrong, but it was a disappointment that stuck with me until I heard the band's 2003 effort and they fell off of my radar completely. "Skipping Stones" has some fantastic vocal harmonies with layers upon layers of really catchy lines and "South Stanley Place" is pretty decent, although very poppy, and they even made a video for it which you can watch below.
2011's 'Local State Inertia' harkens back to 'Pop Culture Failure' days but I've only just discovered this (a few days prior to the review). "Placebo Effect" has insane pop sensibilities and the album seems good enough so I might try to pick it up as I'm swimming in 'Pop Culture Failure' again right now because of this review.
You can stream a hefty portion of the band's discography on the HORACE PINKER bandcamp page, linked here.
1992 - Forty-Seven 7"EP
1992 - Knives, Guns, and Ammunition 7"EP
1993 - Six / Man Dingo split/comp cd
1993 - Face To Face split 7"
1994 - Power Tools cd/12"LP (stream/buy here)
1994 - Selling Out the Scene Since 1991 7"EP
1994 - The Hyper-Reactive D.I.Y. Polemic Machine 7"EP
1995 - Horace Pinker 7"EP
1995 - Suck Shit (Doc Hopper split) 7"
1996 - Burn Tempe to the Ground cd/12"LP (stream/buy here)
1996 - 4/26/96 (Fireside Bowl - Chicago, IL) 7"EP
2000 - Pop Culture Failure cd/12"LP (download here)
2000 - Copper Regret cdEP (download here)
2003 - Red Eyed Regular cdEP (stream/buy here)
2005 - Texas One Ten cdLP (stream/buy here)
2007 - Carnival Nostalgia: 2000-2006 digitalLP/comp (stream/download here)
2011 - Local State Inertia cd/12"LP (stream/buy here)
2012 - Seven Mile Road: 1991-1998 digitalLP (stream/buy here)
(2000) HORACE PINKER - "Second Best" (from 'Pop Culture Failure')
(2000) HORACE PINKER - "Supposed To" (from 'Pop Culture Failure')
(2000) HORACE PINKER - "Refined" (from 'Pop Culture Failure')
(2000) HORACE PINKER - "Doorway" (from 'Pop Culture Failure')
(2000) HORACE PINKER - "South Stanley Place" (from 'Copper Regret') official music video
(2000) HORACE PINKER - "Skipping Stones" (from 'Copper Regret')
HORACE PINKER 2K albums mp3 download / additional links