This Pine Box – “Would You Walk/What Can I Say?” REVIEW

Back in early 2019 when I reviewed This Pine Box’s debut album The Way Out, I asked myself what exactly defined the sound of Ohio. While I couldn’t pinpoint a distinctive style, I had a blast listening to the album from start to finish. Combining elements of alternative rock and blue-eyed soul, This Pine Box continues to set a standard for indie bands who can’t be pegged by a singular genre. Fast forward to today, Would You Walk/What Can I Say?, the new single on Soul Step Records asks another question: What does This Pine Box sound like?

The biggest takeaway from the This Pine Box debut was how they successfully blended an array of influences without straight-up stealing anything. On side A’s “Would You Walk” This Pine Box leans harder into what was previously set up. Ear-worm hooks are belted out over tastefully distorted guitars and syncopated rhythms. Side B’s “What Can I Say” trades some of the power-pop vibes in for early 70s-era R&B. With slick production by John Curley of Afghan Whigs, the song bounces back in forth between anthemic choruses to down-tempo grooves like a proverbial soul-a-coaster.

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But the greatest element of both tracks is a full-on horn ensemble. While many purists would argue a brass section has no place in rock n’ roll, but I’m willing to bet those people have never heard This Pine Box. The addition isn’t forced or on the nose, it’s just another layer to the already lush production this band is known for. However, even with new layers, nothing is ever lost in the mix. The new expansive sound is as natural as an electric guitar solo. Speaking of, I want to give a shout out to the guitar duo wizardry of Jake Knight and Joe Tellmann. Where most indie blue-eyed soul groups avoid guitar like the plague, these guys embrace and utilize it to take the sub-genre to new heights.

So even with these two new tracks, I’m having a difficult time trying to explain what kind of band This Pine Box is. There are elements of soul, pop, rock, and R&B, but they don’t stick around long enough for a permanent address. Once again it brings back to my original conclusion: Like their home state of Ohio, This Pine Box isn’t defined by a single genre label. Their art is simply just good music. Better yet, don’t take my word for it. Drop the needle on the physical copy of this release and find out for yourself.

Would You Walk/What Can I Say? is available on limited edition 7″ vinyl exclusively at Soul Step Records



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Aaron The Audiophile

Son, brother, uncle, musician. I enjoy music of all genres, shapes and sizes, preferably the good kind.

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