Pinebender's Working Nine To Wolf is its second release on Lovitt Records. It is the first recording made with the band's new line-up. After the departure of Matt Clark in 2002, Stephen Howard moved from behind the drums to take over on baritone guitar and Dennis Stacer joined the group, replacing Howard in the rhythm section. Chris Hansen represents the only original member of the band in his original role as guitarist and vocalist.
The album was recorded in Chicago by Greg Norman over two days in March 2006 at Electrical Audio and three days in April 2006 at Studio Greg Studio. The band has never sounded as powerful as they do on this, their heaviest, most straight-forward recording to date. Amplifier worship is on display. Guitars loom throughout eight tracks from semi-psychedelic to furious. Stacer controls this march. His playing is true to the 'drudge' of the previous records while exciting the system with improvisations.
The opening track, Parade of Horribles, is a fourteen-minute synopsis of Pinebender. The song exemplifies the elements of the band's sound, familiar to those that have followed their music along the way. Slowly building to an abrupt release of tension, the concussion gives way to a long melodic freefall, landing the listener back into a storm of blazing guitars. Legalize drugs immediately. The descent ends with the imperative: 'Let it begin.' This pagan prayer for change is the thesis statement of the record. There is hope' or maybe not. The seven songs that follow are dominant and ferocious. The record culminates with the more peaceful twin to the opener. Fifth and Last floats alone, watching in anticipation as things taken for granted approach the event horizon. It is almost disorienting in its glacial pace, and it is hard not to feel saddened as it decays.
Working Nine To Wolf finds Pinebender at its most aggressive. Still, the band adheres to the modus operandi that makes it special. Playing long melodic compositions very slowly and very loudly is what Pinebender does. They do it well.