When Aaron Rev is not busy making albums with The Drowns that end up in my 'Best of 2020' list, he can most likely be found in front of a pinball machine. Don't believe me? Check out his top 10 list of the best pinball machines he has ever played. And while you are at it, make sure to give 'Under Tension' a spin if you haven't already done so. You will not regret it.
Haunted House at Flip Flip Ding Ding in Seattle, WA
Haunted House is a classic, and it’s my wife’s all time favorite pin. The three levels of playfields really adds such a crazy element to the game, especially the fact that the lower playfield is flipped upside down. It really messes with your brain to have to swap to that lower playfield so quickly. I’ve had tons of great games against my wife on the Haunted House at my local pinball hang, Flip Flip Ding Ding, so it’s definitely in my top 10.
The Simpsons Pinball Party at Pirates Press Records in Emeryville, CA
Earlier this year The Drowns were lucky enough to sneak a tour in right before covid really hit. On that tour we played at the Pirates Press HQ. It was a great show, and a killer time. One of the highlights was going head to head against famous rock photographer Alan Snodgrass and his wife Cindy, and beating my good friend Bungle from Bar Stool Preachers high score on Simpsons Pinball Party. Its a super whacky and fun machine, and we have a good one locally at 8bit Arcade in Renton WA, so don’t tell Bungle, but I’ve had some practice.
High Roller Casino at Fremont Arcade in Las Vegas, NV
On the first tour following the release of “Under Tension” earlier this year, we were searching out pins at every stop. Once in Vegas, we saw on PinMap that there was a few machines near where we were staying on Fremont Street. We walked down to a pretty modern and generic looking arcade called “Fremont Arcade”. We walked in and asked the younger guy at the counter where the machines were and he pointed to a dark dusty corner were there was a Deadpool, and High Roller. The Deadpool was fine, but there was something serendipitous about playing High Roller while in Vegas. I don’t remember all the details, but I’m pretty sure Andy smoked me that day on that machine.
Star Wars (Pro) at Level Up Arcade in Eugene, OR
On the road earlier this year, our first stop was in Eugene OR, we knew they had a few great Pin Bars. So we stopped by Level Up Arcade to play some of their machines. They have a huge selection! But we ended up really laying in to the Star Wars (Pro) they had. On that machine I started to explain some “intermediate pinball techniques” to the guys in The Drowns. We made a few friends who were there playing too, and overheard our conversation. After that we got grub at Cornbread Cafe, so all in all it was a great night.
Indianapolis 500 at Seattle Tavern in Seattle, WA
Almost 2 years ago now, I went sober. Looking to still be social, but also looking for something to keep my hands busy, I dove in to pinball super hard. I’m a bartender at a pub in South Seattle called “Seattle Tavern”. We have two pins at the bar, Indianapolis 500, and Johnny Mnemonic. I like them both, but something about Indy 500 really gabbed me. A lot of the shots are repetitious, so it really helped me work on technique, and become more comfortable as a player.
World Cup 94’ at Full Tilt Ice Cream in Seattle, WA
World Cup 94 is one of my all time favorite pins. It’s always fun, and I’m fortunate to have a few near me. There’s a great pinball/ice cream spot in the White Center neighborhood of south Seattle called Full Tilt. It’s a killer place with a great vibe, and some great games. The World Cup there plays great, and I got to watch my wife put up her personal best on that pin not to long ago.
Attack From Mars at The Pinball Hall Of Fame in Las Vegas, NV
This one is pretty special for me. My wife and I got married in Las Vegas at Alternate Reality Comics, and we had a Star Wars Themed wedding, where our good friend Lukas officiated the wedding in a full Jedi outfit. After the wedding we had our reception at the Pinball Hall Of Fame and signed our marriage license on the Attack From Mars There. It was perfect.
The Bram Stokers Dracula at Twilight Cafe & Bar in Portland, OR
This pin has a reputation for being a pain in the ass for a lot of players, and let me tell you, the one at Twilight Cafe in Portland does not disappoint. The game is great, but can be relentlessly unforgiving. Andy and I got WORKED by that one the last time we were there. She’s a cruel mistress.
Monster Bash at The Racket Bar & Pinball Lounge in Bellingham, WA
My wife and I took a weekend trip to play pinball in Bellingham for our Anniversary this year and played a bunch of great pins and multiple bars and arcades. The main one that sticks out is the Monster Bash at The Racket Bar & Pinball Lounge. I love this machine in general, but on this specific trip I got my first “Monsters Of Rock” mode, and I was just really grooving with that pin that night.
Meteor At Kraken Lounge in Seattle, WA
The Kraken is one of the best bars in Seattle by far. The owners and staff are all old, dear friends of mine. It’s a great place to see a punk rock show, or play pinball. They have a whole room full on machines. I really love the Meteor there. Late 70’s machines are my personal favorite era of pins, and this one has everything I love. 70s art on the playfield, buttloads of drop targets, and load very analog sounding sounds.