Polvo | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader


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With its third album, Exploded Drawing (Touch and Go), this Chapel Hill foursome has discovered a glimmering netherworld at the intersection of alternate tuning, pop hooks, and off-kilter rhythms. On previous recordings Polvo obsessed over either extraneous unusual textures or functionless distended structures, but this time such elements are used moderately, in the service of the band's skittering melodies. Though Polvo still operates around the noise/melody axis much like Sonic Youth does, the stylistic shadows of that influence seem to be receding. The weave of Ash Bowie and Dave Brylawski's guitars includes both angular riffs and barely contained, note-bending freak-outs, while bassist Steve Popson and drummer Eddie Watkins undergird the wiggy guitar moves with lopsided, Beefheart-ish rhythms. The lengthy album is neatly tied together with coloristic passages of sitar and santir. While the band's songsmithing won't threaten Beatles album sales anytime soon, there is a distinctive, if unorthodox, tunefulness to its music. The melodies are forced to struggle through the din, but they do get out. Saturday, 10 PM, Lounge Ax, 2438 N. Lincoln; 525-6620.


Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Brad Miller.

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