If you had been following JOVM over the course of 2015, you might recall coming across a couple of posts on the Athens, GA-based quartet Pinecones. And although at the time, they were a relatively new band, the band’s members Bo Orr (vocals, guitar), Ben Salle (drums), Brain Atoms (guitar) and Ryan Evers have played in a number of bands together, going back to when they were all high schoolers; so in some way, the band as it was constituted was more than a decade in the making. In any case, after a year of writing songs and playing live shows together, the members of Pinecones went into the studio on April Fool’s Day to record the material that would wind up up comprising their full-length debut, Sings For You Now. From album singles “Cosmosis” and “Ocean at the Center,” their material eschewed familiar and fundamental songwriting structures — there isn’t a discernible verse, chorus or even a bridge and honestly, it doesn’t matter and is hardly the point; in fact their material possesses a raw, primal urgency and passion that’s sadly rare in an age of sneering irony, preening self-obsession and self-importance, and prepackaged commodified music product. Perhaps more importantly, their sound and aesthetic has served as a powerful and necessary reminder that life is a brief and chaotic blast of messy, urgent and strident passions and furies before it all dissipates like smoke into the ether.
Last year, was an interesting year for the Athens, GA-based band as they announced that they were changing their name from Pinecones to Arbor Labor Union and were signed to renowned indie rock label Sub Pop Records. Building upon the attention they received with the release of Sings For You Now, the quartet formerly known as Pinecones will be releasing their sophomore effort I Hear You on May 13. Unsurprisingly, I Hear You‘s first single “Radiant Mountain Road” will further cement the band’s reputation for a raw, furiously passionate sound and aesthetic that draws from Neil Young and Crazy Horse (think of “Cinnamon Girl“), and Pearl Jam (think of “Last Exit” “Spin The Black Circle” off Vitalogy and “Blood” off Vs.) as the song is a towering, noisy squall consisting of layers upon layers of chugging power chords, thundering drumming and rumbling bass chords paired with Orr’s howling and shouting above the fray. Certainly, if this song doesn’t shake your heart and soul awake, then there’s something deeply wrong with you. Go out there and live a deeply passionate, frenzied life, go out there and shout, stomp, cry, laugh and make a total fool of yourself because this very moment is all we have and all we’ll ever know.