November 2013 National Music Reviews

Review: Polvo – Siveria

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Polvo
Siberia
Merge Records
Street: 10.01
Polvo = King Crimson + Sonic Youth + June of 44
Polvo was math-y before there was math rock, but the angular equations of their guitar riffs and drum rhythms seemed like some secret calculus, more subtle and organic then their successors. 2009’s In Prism reflected their aesthetic through a prog-rock prism, and Siberia finds them in “Total Immersion,” implying more looseness and intimacy, but also a narrowing of distance. They can go from that anthemic opener to a pastoral moment that leads you into the journey of “Blues Is Loss.” In Prism was my 2009 album of the year, and founder Ash Bowie’s 1998 solo release Yesterday … And Tomorrow’s Shells (as Libraness) is one of my all-time faves, for its melding of melodicism with Sonic Youth–quality fractured noise. It’s hard to believe their Today’s Active Lifestyles is 20 years old. It’s also hard to fathom that their musical vision is still acute, as crystal clear as a wasted landscape of tundra.
–Stakerized!
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