Tuesday, 8 September 2009



Long considered the lost heroes to indie rock the Polvo sound is a mish mash of various grand rhythms, inventive in a way that very few bands of their ilk accomplish as it routinely tugs as the heartstrings and consciousness of the listener.

Polvo are a band that do not overdo it, their compositions are very organic, paced and lengthy and difficult to clearly compare against any of their peers and colleagues. The playing exemplary as the rhythm section provides a driving pulse which allows the guitar parts and vocals to meander and adventure, exploring new sounds and methods of creating unique explosions of expression from guitar.

Many consider them math rock but that’s a tough sell, I just don’t think the pace of the piece is quite set that way. The band that mostly springs to mind as I listen to this is June Of 44, who in some ways felt like a Slint sibling. Elsewhere when things become fuzzy there is an air of Bardo Pond on a small scale attached to proceedings. With “A Link In The Chain” it even enters some kind of strange Sebadoh territory.

Spread over eight songs this is their fifth album and their first for twelve years, which proves to be a worthwhile. The album flies out of the blocks with “Right The Relation” which is a chunky distorted piece of work with an upbeat chord sequence and the kind of impassioned and heroic vocal delivery that you thought was cool before you knew better.

It genuinely feels like a long time since I have heard a band making music like this. There is a truly cavalier sense to proceedings as it feels like this is a band making music that they like without any intention of playing to or for their audience. As a result the songs maybe longer and more meandering than is necessary but the apparent sense of sincerity outweigh any such concerns. There feels a lot of drive within this record.

With “Beggars Bowl” there is a real intensity within the thundering noise of a band sounding as if it is moving an entire building. Imagine Helmet at the top of their game not so eager to get into the guitar solos. It is that plus wonder.

Seldom does guitar music sound as adventurous and optimistic in this era. This is a band not lost to hairstyles.

Thesaurus moment: recoup.


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