Matt Pond PA | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Matt Pond PA 

Several Arrows Later (Altitude) finds the Brooklyn-based group Matt Pond PA tweaking their chamber pop toward perfection, for better or worse. Of their previous eight releases, the EPs showcase them best, as the brevity affords their somber sentiments the luxury of lingering a little longer and sinking in a little deeper. At first listen there aren't any obvious flaws on Arrows; the band's equation clicks on almost every track: mellow 70s rhythm section, pedal steel and strings (including Eve Miller of the Rachel's on cello), and Matthew Pond's forlorn but pleasant singing, which sounds like the guy from the Counting Crows ripping off Peter Gabriel instead of Van Morrison (and, y'know, chilled out a little). Tunes like "So Much Trouble" and "Brooklyn Stars" even manage to transcend the band's uniformly downcast mood. But if you're not part of the population that believes sad and profound are necessarily the same thing, Matt Pond PA's mope trip starts to wear thin after eight or nine songs. They need to write some songs about hamsters or skiing. Liz Phair headlines. Tue 10/21, 7:30 PM, the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield, 773-472-0449 or 312-559-1212, $30. All ages.

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