Pontiak - Comecrudos
Are music fans really impressed by droning, sweeping noise any more? Does anybody really think it's innovative, abrasive or left field? The Velvet Underground provided us with discordant distortion and something that deviated from the unchallenging, standard pop listening experience back in the 1960s. My Bloody Valentine actively tried to destroy ears in the 1980s. The conclusion of this is that just a bunch of noise on it's own is now longer remotely impressive, it's no longer interesting. It's gone from being impressively unpleasant, to just plain dull. It's therefore somewhat to their discredit that Pontiak have decided to open their latest album with a 9 minute drone. It would be nice to say that in this time they managed to do something interesting, or worth mentioning, but it's impossible to. This is bereft of creatively, any level of inspiration, has no shock value, or beard strokingly nice touches. It's unfortunately just boring.
What it does serve to do, is make the mediocre music that follows seem like a relief just by comparison. It's like emerging from a dank swamp, in the middle of a horrendous thunderstorm to a field in the drizzling rain. Not especially pleasant, but preferable to what preceded it. Pontiak produce some Pink Floyd-esqe progressive rock, and while it does little wrong, it feels lacking in any really new. There's some nice back ground noise, sharp guitars, and reasonably strong rhythms, but it never really amounts to much.
It's a shame, because Pontiak don't exactly show incompetence here. There are nice touches to be found, but they are too few, and go no way to removing the ill feeling towards the record brought by the opening sequence. Pontiak seem to attempt to hark back to the progressive rock of the 1970s, and build on it with a modern eye, but instead regress from that point. There is nothing new or worth checking out here, and it's recommended you stay away.
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With Echo Ono, say Pontiak, it was important that they created an album, to be thought of as an album, rather than a collection of songs. Their previous approach, of recording reams of audio and then working backwards from it to form an LP, went out the window in favour of the construction of narrative. [read more]
Pontiak is made up of three brothers who live in rural Virginia and, since 2005, have steadily been releasing albums - with Innocence being their tenth. Their emphasis has always been on honing their craft and their particular brand of hard psych-rock. One of the clear facts about Innocence is its authenticity. Recorded without the aid of computers, its songs evoke great monsters of the 70s in its heavier moments, and 90s stoner rock in its mellower, more melodic moments. [read more]