Pinto And The Bean – Transit-Eons – EP Review
I woke up in the afternoon for once in my life…probably the first documented case of that written here on our pages in nearly three full years. For some reason getting up later in a day really triggers a strong need to get things moving quickly…and today I woke up in a music-making mood myself. And as much as that feeling can often carry me right into the studio…part of me is still waking up and not quite ready to do its thang…know what I mean?
So I figured I’d slip into SBS-mode for a moment and run the slight risk of losing that inspiration to go off and create something new. It is of course, theoretically possible that Pinto And The Bean and the new music from their Transit-Eons EP might disparage me from making music today…or maybe it’s so entirely good that I’ll feel like I should smash the guitars in the blaze of one final performance before I retire altogether. Or maybe…just maybe…there’s something in the music of Pinto And The Bean that will inspire me to new creative-heights and make me want to go in there and be the best version of myself…
Thankfully…it IS the exact inspiration I needed for my ears this morning…errrr…afternoon I mean! If Pinto And The Bean hadn’t provided the vibe I was searching for today, I was prepared to go after it through the music of Birds Of Tokyo or from Two Door Cinema Club. So truly – I ask you dear readers…how thoughtful was it of Pinto And The Bean to make music in a similar uplifting, free and inspired vibe as the bands I would have sought out? Either they’re in my head and in my thoughts…or they’re actually managing to bring my audio-dreams into my real life in the best of possible ways all at complete random. Whichever the case may be…I’m beyond ecstatic that Pinto And The Bean have come through our speakers here at sleepingbagstudios; I’ve had a lot of luck here lately this past week with a lot of great music…but I think I’ve found a real contender to make my top ten at the end of this year with the excellent music I’m finding on the Transit-Eons EP.
And in being truthful, I can tell you the first seven seconds of the EP damn near gave me a heart-attack as a reviewer – with nothing but a kick-drum beat to start it out, when you don’t know what you’re in for…I was a little worried I might ONLY be able to expect that after the first seconds ticked by. Thankfully – Pinto And The Bean are a million times more inventive and the music began to quickly sprawl in all directions as my fears began to subside completely as I got lost in the beautiful atmosphere on this EP. “Eagle Kid” makes for a fantastic introduction with its energetic and up-tempo, free-feeling vibe & beautiful chorus with additional harmonies that almost sound like Smashing Pumpkins for a brief moment that works incredibly well. The build-up and the pay-off are both there as the music fills with a swell of confidence and bursts brightly into overdriven fuzzed-out glory just prior to the second minute mark in an explosive and truly impressive opening track.
They melt sweetly into “Safari” and the hand-claps & humming at the beginning bring a real atmosphere and cross-cultural feel to the song. A gentle melody starts out, followed by a confidently sung verse and fantastically huge drum sounds. I love the way that the backing vocals work with the lead in the music of Pinto And The Bean…I can’t lie to you, at this point I’ve listened to the EP a staggering amount of times and “Safari” is but one of the many tracks that highlights Pinto And The Bean’s ability to make their vocals work in captivating ways through stunning ideas, delivery and flow. This track never stops moving for even a moment…the music swells and breaks around the vocals which are delivered with 100% genuine emotion that’s convincing beyond compare.
“Gunshot” takes the music in a more electro-pop direction with a catchy beat and the ever-becoming signature style of clean & sweet vocals meeting fantastic harmonies. Adding a real strength to the music surrounding them, there’s a real cleverness to the addition of vocals in any song on the Transit-Eons EP and how they truly become like instruments that bend and adapt to the sounds around them and blend in perfectly to the songs. As much as I like “Gunshot,” I felt like I couldn’t help but feel it was immediately outshined by the track to follow, “Better Off Alone.”
This particular cut really spotlights the incredible combination of these two talented individuals, Paul Taneja and Ivan Sosa and how the resulting magic in the music is greater than the sum of their own separate talents. When you hear a composition like “Better Off Alone,” there’s no way to deny just how much pull music like this has to a listener – nevermind the people that actually MADE it! If I was Paul or Ivan…I can only imagine that the pull of making music this emotionally-all-encompassing and this authentic would lead me to the studio every single free moment I got. They should be absolutely ecstatic with this set of six songs – everything from ideas to execution to production is right where it should be…this EP is nothing short of stunning.
Perhaps it should be! I’ll admit…I haven’t gotten to their debut album, The Waiting Place, which came out in 2011…so this could in theory be miles different or miles ahead of where they were. I believe that strong song-writing ideas like this would certainly show themselves in the early stages of their career no matter how far back you search…and if I could somehow STOP spinning Pinto And The Bean’s new EP, maybe I’d actually get a chance to listen to the early work! I can’t imagine that this new EP couldn’t be a solid improvement, no matter how good the last time out was…these six songs are all perfect as perfect gets. They’ve had some time…nearly four years in between this and the last time out…and it’s been worth the waiting.
Bringing more of a mid-career Smashing Pumpkins type-feel into the music of “Teenage Love” – this song could nearly have found its way onto the Adore album’s track-listing. Excellent use of backing keys to drive this song subtly along in behind the vocals of the verse before “Teenage Love” finds its way to a synthesized & super-sized chorus. A little darker in atmosphere than the earlier tunes on Transit-Eons, this song weaves in and out of itself hypnotically in a floating haze that can take you straight out of your mind and into the world of Pinto And The Bean.
With a whistle that would make Peter Bjorn And John all run for cover…the hook of the final song “Beyond The Sun” is by far one of the strongest ones you’ll find on this album built of musical-muscles. If you don’t end up whistling this around the house yourself by the end of the day you first discover it for yourself…I’d be shocked & surprised – this hook digs in deep. Everything about “Beyond The Sun” kind of comes together in a way that almost feels like Pinto And The Bean X10…it has an energy & pulse similar to the ambition & artistic visions of The Arcade Fire. From its bizarre opening to the rising build and break of “Beyond The Sun,” the gigantic drums and fantastic harmonies can’t help but make the massive impact on you that’s intended and leaves you with an incredible opinion about what’s happening in Pinto And The Bean.
Or…at the very least, that’s what it did to me.
Check out Pinto And The Bean and have a listen to the Transit-Eons EP right off their main page at: http://pintoandthebeanmusic.com/