Recommend if you like: Japandroids, Grouplove, The Weeks

Expectation: Pinegrove is an indie rock band that has been steadily building their fan base since 2010. Cardinal marks the group’s second full-length project, as well as their debut on the Run For Cover label.

TRACK-BY-TRACK

  • Old Friends – The album starts like most indie rock live the shows: the band just picks up their instruments and starts to play. Its not showy, but its to the the point and immediately enforces the grounded attitude of the album.
  • Cadmium – Another relaxed but solid rock song with a country tinge to it.
  • Then Again – Just a straightforward rock song done very well. The guitar parts compliment each other nicely, the vocals sound good, the lyrics are to the point bu memorable, and the overall dynamics rise and fall just right.
  • Aphasia – A bit longer than it needs to be, but good for the pacing of the album. The guitar solo at the end is fun, too.
  • Visiting –  Just another quality rock song.
  • Waveform – This, however, is a quality rock song.
  • Size of the Moon – Oh look! A quality rock song.
  • New Friends – Another song with simple but memorable lyrics that blends a bit of extra folksy-ness into the rock.

Overall: Pinegrove’s new album isn’t anything new, but it is an excellent rendition. The band wears their influences openly without seeming to overtly draw from any one artist, rather sounding like an amalgamation of indie rock and indie folk bands they admire. The songwriting is concise but not overly so, the instrumental performances are interesting without being distracting, and the vocals have a very organic sound that plays a pivotal part in the mood of the album. Pinegrove isn’t trying to innovate, they’re just trying to make the music they themselves enjoy, and it seems to me that they’ve succeeded.

Score: 6/10

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