At the time they formed Pinback in 1998, San Diego indie-rockers Zach Smith (bass) and especially Rob Crow (vocals and guitar) already had a reputation for collecting bands like encyclopedias. (Ever heard of Heavy Vegetable, Optiganally Yours, Physics or Thingy?)
As it went, however, the connection the two musicians shared was special, and Pinback became their calling. Crow, Smith and drummer Chris Prescott perform live at Seattle’s Showbox Monday.
Starting with 1999’s matter-of-factly-titled “This is a Pinback CD,” the duo has evolved its sound from languid, oblique bedroom-pop curiosity to inimitable indie-prog mind-meld, crafting subtly intense songs that move like clockwork and — judging by last year’s “Information Retrieved,” the band’s fifth LP — show little indication of turning off.
A self-taught mastermind in the mold of The Minutemen’s Mike Watt, Smith guides the ten-song set with his unique, complex basslines, while the other hallmarks of Pinback’s songwriting — rangy guitars, beautifully synchronized harmonies — sound just as fresh, while more refined, 15 years in.
For openers Survival Knife, Monday caps a productive summer in which the Olympia foursome — which features members of ‘90s post-hardcore legends Unwound — released its debut seven-inch single “Traces of Me” for Sub Pop (listen) and supported Modest Mouse on a West Coast tour. The band’s metallic, riffy punk is at once intricate and straightforward, and well worth arriving early for.Pinback, Survival Knife
8 p.m. Monday at Showbox at the Market, 1426 1st Ave., Seattle; $18.50-$22 (206-628-3151 or showboxpresents.com)