Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Polvo - (x4)

One of the most popular and accomplished bands in the arty, noisy indie rock offshoot dubbed math rock, Polvo touched on many of the style's hallmarks: dissonant, intricately layered guitars that often employed alternate tunings; odd, off-kilter rhythms; an emphasis on dense sonic texture; and unorthodox song structures that, nonetheless, were often unconventionally melodic. Additionally, their music had a pronounced Eastern feel that came not only from the Indian and Middle Eastern-style drones in their compositions, but actual Asian instruments as well; that helped set them apart from other post-Sonic Youth/ Slint guitar experimentalists.

Cor-Crane Secret - 1992

Critically embraced, this full-length debut from Polvo deserves notice for its scope and imaginative guitars. However,
Cor-Crane Secret sounds brittle when compared to the work of more accomplished '90s guitar bands like Built to Spill, Pavement, and Sonic Youth. More experimental than indie rock's "accessible" success stories, Polvo could never establish a broad listenership -- even after their later, more song-driven releases that stand up to the class of their genre. This determined art rock approach is perhaps most limiting on Cor-Crane Secret, with its sometimes unnecessary abrasiveness. Sonic envelopes are pushed to the detriment of what could be grand material as youthful enthusiasm gets the better of songs like "Ox Scapula" and "Duped." The band's tendency to meander through long patches of dissonant but artful guitar structures vigorously challenges the average rock attention span. This is probably to their credit, but Polvo dare themselves into overpowering their own rich songwriting on Cor-Crane Secret.
mp3 - 128kbps

rar - 36mb

Today's Active Lifestyles - 1993

Never a band to follow formulaic musical styles, Polvo once again shakes things up with its twisted song structures of multiple tempos and intricate, distorted guitars. Today's Active Lifestyles goes from the raucous "Thermal Treasure," with its tangled guitars, into the meandering "Lazy Comet," with its singsong, rhyming lyrics, to the spare, melancholy "My Kimono," which features a solo by guitarist Ash Bowie. And that's just the album's first three songs! The band experiments with several ideas throughout the album, and each concept is successful. The album ranges from cascading guitar solos in "Stinger (Five Wigs)" to the straightforward "Tilebreaker" to the catchy, rolling, keyboard-punctuated "Time Isn't on My Side." Overall, it's an excellent album with many layers. You can listen to it over and over again and still catch new things going on in every song.

mp3 - 128kbps
rar - 37mb

Celebrate The New Dark Age - 1995

Celebrate the New Dark Age, the second EP from Polvo, is filled with the band's chaotic, twisted guitars and sarcastic, witty lyrics. "Fractured (Like Chandliers)" and "Tragic Carpet Ride" are two amazing guitar songs. "Fractured's" extensive whammy-bar use produces great hard-rocking, wobbling dissonance. "Tragic Carpet Ride" is a straight, hard rock song that perfectly intertwines the distortion of both guitars. The EP also has its lighter side with songs like "Virtual Cold," which is both melancholy and emotional, and "City Spirit." As always, Polvo backs up its swirling guitars with wry, intricate lyrics. A stand-out lyrical track is "Every Holy Shroud," which is reminiscent of Pavement.

mp3 - 128kbps
rar - 23mb

Shapes - 1997

Shapes is a fascinating record that takes great liberties with rock-n-roll. They combine fuzzed-out blasts ala Blue Cheer with quasi-psychedelic twanging and droning. Being rock dogs more than a little trippy, the unsuspecting listener is liable to be derailed and require debriefing from a Polvo-handler before feeling safe around multi-instrumental rock albums again. Polvo (now defunct) has often shared the stage with Sonic Youth. There is more than a passing resemblance, at times, but Polvo retains more consistent cohesion and turns tighter corners, too. Does that make them a better band or a more unpredictable one? I say predicting that Polvo will be looked on as one of the better bands of the 90s is a safe bet.

mp3 - 192kbps
rar - 51mb


Brunomilan said...

thanks you so much for this

Brian said...

thanks dude, i've never been able to find shapes. great band, teribly underappreciated.

Jesse Bishop said...

The links are expired, but thanks for posting Polvo. Great band.