IF ANYTHING, Pinback minds their songwriting. Though they blend drum machines with piano, slippery vocals with guitars, and MIDI with cello, they'd never just jumble some currently-hip instruments, throw down some rackety tracks, and call it an album. They're acclimated to true musicianship and certainly above indie posturing, with influences dipped in the all-over-the-map multiplicity of their other bands. (Rob Crow, ex of Heavy Vegetable, plays with Physics, Thingy, Optiganally Yours, and Remote Action Sequence Project. Armisted Burwell "Zach" Smith IV is playing again with Three Mile Pilot, who reformed recently.)

So, in a world teeming with indie bands that have abandoned the original, anti-homogeny aesthetic, for the more lucrative, cool, "white belt credibility," where does Pinback fit in?

"For some reason, all these people want to be big rock stars," says Crow. "It's sad and depressing. It's less about making the best music they possibly can and more about a pissing contest. It's driven me to the point of not leaving the house. All I want to do is write music and try to make something with integrity."

Pinback's new four-song EP, Some Voices (Ace Fu Records), upholds that statement. It's a pretty recording, with neatly inquisitive bass lines, incredible piano/cello interaction, fervently cozy vocals singing lines like "It's up to the trees with the firestorm." Though slicker than their 1998 self-titled release, it's still got that traditional Pinback balance between heart and head; the one that goes a little deeper in its soft eccentricity.

Usually, when musicians are asked what inspires them, musically or otherwise, they'll spout a long list of bands that inevitably includes the Beatles, the Jam, Brian Eno, or all three. Crow and Smith, conversely, have the coolest music geek answers. Smith: "When I want to hear music, there's a piano two feet away I can play. There're good Internet streaming radio stations, but then it's just like how many buttons do they have to have? It's so much easier just to sit on the [piano] bench."

Crow: "The movie My Best Fiend by Werner Herzog about Klaus Kinski. I wish there were more people like those guys, who just wreck themselves for art and also happen to make good art--a lot of people can wreck themselves for bad art."