The PB Army
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The PB Army

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The best kept secret in music


"Bob Ignizio, Utter Trash"

It’s been a while since I heard a new stoner rock band that didn’t bore me to tears with their slavish Fu Manchu, Kyuss, and Sabbath imitations. While Toledo’s PB Army are no doubt familiar those bands, they clearly have their sights set on creating a sound of their own. There’s actual sonic diversity on this disc, something almost unheard of these days. I was beginning to think bands weren’t allowed to do that anymore. Tracks like “Ashtabula” are all ugly heaviness, while tunes like “Moderation” blend hard rock riffing with a pop sensibility. These guys are more than capable of jamming out, and lead guitar fans won’t be disappointed, but they’re also smart enough not to get all self indulgent in the breaks... -

" reviews Spine"

Spine for the Snapback is a louder, brasher, more metal affair. The poppier aspects and stoner grooves are still an intrinsic part of the band’s DNA (such as on the QOTSA-worthy “Moderation”), but they’re behind a thick sheen of metal. “Viva Los Alamos” and “Bringing a Knife to the Gunfight” bristle with a “f**k you” attitude. And when Bergman snarls, “I do not recognize this heart/Another useless, worn-out part,” on “A Hole in the New Leaf,” you have to wonder if he’s singing about a soured relationship or his body turning against him. That sort of spite rears its ugly head on “Martyr Bound” (“You don’t have the spine for the snapback/You pathetic rebound f**k/Bespectacled and self-assured/What you hate is what you’ve become”) and elsewhere on the album...

- John Pegoraro, -

"Sea Of Tranquility reviews 1st CD"

The best albums are those that are quiet (or loud, as the case may be) acts of defiance. Owning these records, listening to them at parties when everybody else wants to hear the hits of the day, despite your insistence that you’re actually listening to the hits of tomorrow, is part of what keeps rock and roll alive. Bands such as The PB Army also keep rock and roll alive with their unfashionable, dirty mudflap sound, their irreverent lyrics and general out-of-step-with-the-times-ness.

“Acres Of Tires” is a kind of Foghat throwback, while elsewhere the band sounds like a dust-covered and road-weary updated version of the mighty Sabbath and even, once or twice, Black Oak Arkansas (dig the gorgeously ugly riffing that is “The Motherlode” for all of this rolled into one). And while some of those references would be lost on some of today’s “stoner” bands, the occasional group that believes the genre started with Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger, listening to this release, you get the sense that The PB Army are so much wiser than all that.

Get this now and drive your friends away with “The Eye Is On You,” or “Circle The Wagon,” then keep them away with “Life On The 30th Floor,” as brilliant a song as any that have come down the pike in recent years, forget what genre. After all, they’re only friends and this is rock and roll.

- Jedd Beaudoin -


"Spine For the Snapback" CD - Sin Klub, 2005
"Inebriates, Equivocators, and Mockers of the Devil Himself" CD - Sin Klub, 2003


Feeling a bit camera shy


With the release of Spine For the Snapback, their second album, Ohio rock devotees The PB Army are dispensing with the rules and regulations of the underground scene. The 12 new songs on the record are as kinetic and diverse as the three players' CD collections, unpredictably veering from stoner rock to huge power pop hooks to grinding, sardonic doom to nasty, thrashed-out black metal chaos (no, really - just for part of one song, but still). With a new lease on life and a re-energized sense of fun, the 'Army has created their watershed album.

The PB Army formed in early 2001, when Micah Shimborske and Keith Bergman (ex-Chicken Dog) re-entered the rock game after a few years' hiatus from making music. The two snagged Mahlon Orrin (ex-Koufax, Next2Nothing, Black Dahlia Murder) that fall, and recorded their debut CD, the charmingly-titled Inebriates, Equivocators, and Mockers of the Devil Himself, in 2002.

Inebriates garnered worldwide praise upon its January, 2003 release. Metal Edge called it "one of the discoveries of the year," while Rock and a Hard Place enthused "there's so many influences here that you simply cannot put a label on the band.... I really hope this is the future of rock." perhaps summed it up best: "it's nothing fancy, it just rocks like a sonofabitch!"

The PB Army racked up over 100 shows in support of Inebriates, playing alongside the likes of Clutch, Leadfoot, Spirit Caravan, Jucifer, The Liars, Alabama Thunderpussy, Heroine Sheiks, Halfway To Gone, Five Horse Johnson, and Lamont. The band also booked two short DIY tours of the midwest and south.

Recording had already commenced for Spine For the Snapback in January 2004 when the band was dealt a sudden shock. Bergman suffered an aortic aneurysm, and underwent emergency open-heart surgery, with a sketchy chance of survival. Thankfully, the surgery was a success, and after several months' convalescence, The PB Army triumphantly returned to the stage in June, a little shellshocked, but wiser and more appreciative of the chance to rock.

With their energetic stage show (made all the more unexpected by the "singing drummer" and lack of frontman) and memorable songs, anticipation has been mounting for Spine For the Snapback. The album is definitely worth the wait. From straight-ahead, caffeinated ravers like "Trouble In the Woodshed" and "Ashtabula" to the pure pop sweetness of "Moderation"... from the wild-eyed chaos of "Viva Los Alamos" and "Bringing a Knife to the Gunfight" to classic rock anthems-to-be like "Dying On the Starting Line" and "Saint Atomic Pentagram"... all twelve songs are unique, tied together by Shimborske's quirky, authoritative riffing, Bergman's idiosyncratic singing, and Orrin and Bergman's hammering rhythms. The band never indulge in noodling for its own sake, or let the energy level subside for a second, making Spine For the Snapback an exhilarating listen amid a sea of one-trick ponies and scene-conscious, blueprint-following pretenders.

Not many bands skid to the edge of the abyss and get a chance to "snap back." The PB Army have rebounded in fine style, and in the process, have cemented their status as cult favorites, and a band to watch now and in the coming years.

And yes, they will still play your backyard for sandwiches and beer. Just call 'em, will ya?