Friday, June 01, 2007

OMG Alert: Polvo

Every now and then you discover an old band's genius, and you have an OMG moment. Where they're so damn good, and their goodness was so bloody unexpected that it almost hurts that you've only just heard them, and in many cases will never EVER get to see them. Polvo are the first band in a while to do that for me. I picked up their 1994 Celebrate The New Dark Age EP in a second hand record shop earlier this week and have just totally been revelling in its genius ever since. Polvo hailed from the same Chapel Hill based scene that spawned Superchunk, and were probably one of the first indie rocks bands that could truly be put into the 'math-rock' genre. Splicing piles of Sonic Youth distortion with enough twisted time signatures and fucked up jagged guitar to make Steve Albini do a wee, they've quite quickly become an absolute obsession for me. Led by guitar maniac Ash Bowie, the band released four LPs, the first in 1992 and the last in 1997, before splitting up due to the usual growing apart and wanting to do other things style reasons. THE IDIOTS. Celebrate The New Dark Age came out on Merge in 1994 and is super-uber-perfect. Here are two songs. Listen to them as loud as they deserve. Fractured (Like Chandaliers is...amazing. My god. Need to invent time machine and go back and see them. Now. More info at Wikipedia, or you can read some reviews by the always ace Mark Prindle by clicking here. Enjoy!

Polvo - Fractured (Like Chandeliers)
Polvo - Tragic Carpet Ride


Blogger DeadlyTango said...

This EP was truly mindblowing when it came out -- the 7" version with gorgeous IPR letterpress packaging just took it way over the top. Polvo and Rodan toured together in Summer 1994 -- their show at the Black Cat in DC was a completely majestic experience.

The math-rock reference isn't completely on track, though -- Polvo was downright noodly compared to earlier Merge bands like Breadwinner and Coral, both children of the incomparable Honor Role. The precision of math-rock was hard to sustain given some of Polvo's extracurriculars.

Sadly, this EP was also the end of Polvo as a strong, powerful, creative force... their later output got fairly noodle-damaged.

2:24 am, June 05, 2007  

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