Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Album Review: Polvo - Siberia

On Polvo’s sixth LP, Siberia, there isn’t a moment wasted. From the outset of “Total Immersion,” it takes hold of the listener and treats them to an impressive eight song journey.

The aforementioned “Total Immersion” kicks things off by dropping listeners right into the song’s key guitar lick. It feels unstoppable. The heavy momentum swings right into a satisfying climax in the chorus. It’s exhilarating, the type of tension and release more connected to the moment it happens.

Polvo’s rhythms are still angular enough to cast the band as “math rock”, but the term fails to capture the whole picture. Siberia doesn’t feel calculated despite its precision. Songs shift and change character with ease. One minute listeners are being pummeled with lead guitar and the next they’ll be dancing to joyful synths (see “Light, Raking”).

The center piece is “The Water Wheel,” an eight minute jam that — like Siberia as a whole — covers a lot of ground, but paces itself in a way that doesn’t overwhelm its audience.

This is a record that will unwittingly bury itself deep in your psyche. It recalls many classic rock sounds from Kansas and Rush to Jimi Hendrix. This familiarity mixed with the intoxicating rhythms and Ash Bowie’s ageless vocals create a sound that isn’t easily forgettable.

Siberia is out now on Merge Records.

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