Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pontiak's "Sun on Sun": Music Review

Three brothers holed up in rural Virginia recall the Black Angels, Black Mountain, Mogwai, and Neil Young in their four best songs on this seven-song debut. If you can hear what those artists have in common, you will like this album. Like those musicians, Pontiak brings ideas into their crafting of meandering, punchy, exploratory tunes that roam the crossroads of muddy rather than anthemic Southern rock, early-70s folk-rock, experimental indie rock, and classic late-60s AOR.

The vocals are straightforward, the bass and drums solid, and the guitar textures shifting. The album moves about, and this intrigues. The first song howls and thuds; the second diverges into electronics as found sound-- not that exciting, but calmer. Song three starts to delve into sections that segue into different moods, continued on the next two songs, the strongest core of the CD. The last two, however, let me down. They will please fans of what might be called Jim Morrison unplugged, but as I lack the enthusiasm for most of The Doors that many of my peers esteem, I may be biased.

This short record holds promise. If the band (the samples I've previewed of their recent follow-up "Maker" seems to progress into an Om-stoner metal-art rock epic guitar dissonance) continues to reconstruct classic sounds into intelligent and unexpected structures, they should gain as wide a following as some of the influences I mentioned here. They deserve wider attention. (Posted to Amazon US 9-20-09)

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