Polvo

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At a Glance

Formed: 1990 (25 years ago)


Biography

"Polvo is still doing what they do best" —Under the Radar

"Replete with intricate rhythmic changes, buzzed-out, melodic guitars, and aggressive, lo-fi vocals, the track recalls Polvo’s earlier material, and rocks pretty hard." —Stereogum, "Total Immersion"

"With the fluid, streamlined “Siberia,” however,[Polvo] have scored a rare hat trick — taking a signature style, expanding on it, and making it novel and engaging for diehards and neophytes alike." —Seattle Times
___________________________________________________________________________________________

Polvo
Siberia

During their ... Read more

"Polvo is still doing what they do best" —Under the Radar

"Replete with intricate rhythmic changes, buzzed-out, melodic guitars, and aggressive, lo-fi vocals, the track recalls Polvo’s earlier material, and rocks pretty hard." —Stereogum, "Total Immersion"

"With the fluid, streamlined “Siberia,” however,[Polvo] have scored a rare hat trick — taking a signature style, expanding on it, and making it novel and engaging for diehards and neophytes alike." —Seattle Times
___________________________________________________________________________________________

Polvo
Siberia

During their initial run from 1990–1998, Polvo crafted a sound so fantastically obstinate and so perfectly cockeyed that its DNA is essentially resistant to mediocrity or repetition. On Siberia, that sound feels more limber and more aerodynamic than ever. Its songs glide and bob like UFOs, both serene and unsettling. Some of that is owed to a looser approach. “Preparing for In Prism, we labored over that material pretty intensively,” explains founding guitarist Ash Bowie. “A lot of the songs on this album were not rehearsed much at all. I’d like to think this album has a few more adventurous moments.” One of those is the spiraling “Blues Is Loss,” which moves from a dense knot of sound—an impossible tangle of Bowie’s and Dave Brylawski’s guitars, Steve Popson’s chugging bass, and Brian Quast’s tumbling percussion—to a conclusion that clangs and peals like church bells. There are the classic-sounding moments, too, like terrifically herky-jerk album opener “Total Immersion,” which is grounded in surging bass and a pair of surgically focused guitar lines.

An obvious point of comparison would be to Today’s Active Lifestyles, released—perhaps not coincidentally—exactly 20 years ago. Where that album thrived on a nervous, coiled energy, Siberia feels more surefooted, more poised and controlled. It’s the work of a band that’s been here before, but the experience has only made them more at ease. Siberia is a record that’s humming with confidence, the sound of a band with nothing to prove, but proving it anyway.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Polvo
In Prism

It might be too soon to declare In Prism the best Polvo record ever…but it might be okay by the time you’re done reading this.

It’s de rigueur to ask the question, Why now? What makes a band decide to get back together for a few shows ten years later, and then for a few more? Well, I don’t know because I didn’t ask them, because the reasons don’t matter, only the results. Isn’t it pretty much always the same stuff anyway? “Because we could, because we thought it’d be fun, because we got asked.”

What I do know, and what every old fan will quickly realize seconds into In Prism’s opener, “Right the Relation”—which is so much more “Polvo” than Polvo was—is that they would not have made this record a year after 1997’s Shapes, their last album. Nor would they have two years later, or five. Not they couldn’t have; they just wouldn’t have. Only at this point in life would they be so assured, so casually stormy and intensely calm, graceful and free with their power—only as guys their age, grown-ups who grew up without growing up, without setting aside anything that made them the rock artists they were during their first, unblemished run. There is not a thing on In Prism that they aren’t doing better than before: the sidewinder guitars and the mighty roar and the moody atmospheres and the psychedelic explosiveness; the writing, the singing, the words you can understand, the ones you can’t.

Polvo spent 1990–98 giving voice to a chorus of discrete rock & roll ideas that really hadn’t been heard before. On In Prism, those ideas come together like overlaid transparencies, many planes phasing into a cool new geometry, the parts visible but inseparable. And while there was nothing wrong before, it’s now so much more right—perhaps because after ten years, after other bands (Ash: Helium, Libraness; Dave: Idyll Swords and, with Steve, Black Taj; newest drummer named Brian: The Cherry Valence) and their tours and records and worries (if they had any), none of the peripheral stuff matters anymore. You just get to a place in life where a whole set of crap that might’ve once kept you up at night no longer means a thing. The lunchbox genrefications burped up by people who flunked algebra, any perceptions of competing with other groups for anything, what the band will do next or the label they’re on or might want to be on (though we can all agree that it’s cool to see Polvo back on Merge)—that stuff’s for less experienced bands, if they want it. Now is for Polvo, and Polvo is for now.

In Prism is the best Polvo record even before you get to the majestic “A Link in the Chain,” serene and tempestuous like few other things you’ll hear. The album was recorded with Brian Paulson and Polvo has never sounded better. Don’t you agree?

—Mike Wolf, NYC, 6/09

___________________________________________________________________________________________

"Rather than try and recapture past glories, the reconstituted four-piece — original members Dave Brylawski, Ash Bowie and Steve Popson, plus new drummer Brian Quast — have recorded the most solid, coherent and tuneful album in their history." ~eMusic

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

"Polvo is still doing what they do best" —Under the Radar

"Replete with intricate rhythmic changes, buzzed-out, melodic guitars, and aggressive, lo-fi vocals, the track recalls Polvo’s earlier material, and rocks pretty hard." —Stereogum, "Total Immersion"

"With the fluid, streamlined “Siberia,” however,[Polvo] have scored a rare hat trick — taking a signature style, expanding on it, and making it novel and engaging for diehards and neophytes alike." —Seattle Times
___________________________________________________________________________________________

Polvo
Siberia

During their initial run from 1990–1998, Polvo crafted a sound so fantastically obstinate and so perfectly cockeyed that its DNA is essentially resistant to mediocrity or repetition. On Siberia, that sound feels more limber and more aerodynamic than ever. Its songs glide and bob like UFOs, both serene and unsettling. Some of that is owed to a looser approach. “Preparing for In Prism, we labored over that material pretty intensively,” explains founding guitarist Ash Bowie. “A lot of the songs on this album were not rehearsed much at all. I’d like to think this album has a few more adventurous moments.” One of those is the spiraling “Blues Is Loss,” which moves from a dense knot of sound—an impossible tangle of Bowie’s and Dave Brylawski’s guitars, Steve Popson’s chugging bass, and Brian Quast’s tumbling percussion—to a conclusion that clangs and peals like church bells. There are the classic-sounding moments, too, like terrifically herky-jerk album opener “Total Immersion,” which is grounded in surging bass and a pair of surgically focused guitar lines.

An obvious point of comparison would be to Today’s Active Lifestyles, released—perhaps not coincidentally—exactly 20 years ago. Where that album thrived on a nervous, coiled energy, Siberia feels more surefooted, more poised and controlled. It’s the work of a band that’s been here before, but the experience has only made them more at ease. Siberia is a record that’s humming with confidence, the sound of a band with nothing to prove, but proving it anyway.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Polvo
In Prism

It might be too soon to declare In Prism the best Polvo record ever…but it might be okay by the time you’re done reading this.

It’s de rigueur to ask the question, Why now? What makes a band decide to get back together for a few shows ten years later, and then for a few more? Well, I don’t know because I didn’t ask them, because the reasons don’t matter, only the results. Isn’t it pretty much always the same stuff anyway? “Because we could, because we thought it’d be fun, because we got asked.”

What I do know, and what every old fan will quickly realize seconds into In Prism’s opener, “Right the Relation”—which is so much more “Polvo” than Polvo was—is that they would not have made this record a year after 1997’s Shapes, their last album. Nor would they have two years later, or five. Not they couldn’t have; they just wouldn’t have. Only at this point in life would they be so assured, so casually stormy and intensely calm, graceful and free with their power—only as guys their age, grown-ups who grew up without growing up, without setting aside anything that made them the rock artists they were during their first, unblemished run. There is not a thing on In Prism that they aren’t doing better than before: the sidewinder guitars and the mighty roar and the moody atmospheres and the psychedelic explosiveness; the writing, the singing, the words you can understand, the ones you can’t.

Polvo spent 1990–98 giving voice to a chorus of discrete rock & roll ideas that really hadn’t been heard before. On In Prism, those ideas come together like overlaid transparencies, many planes phasing into a cool new geometry, the parts visible but inseparable. And while there was nothing wrong before, it’s now so much more right—perhaps because after ten years, after other bands (Ash: Helium, Libraness; Dave: Idyll Swords and, with Steve, Black Taj; newest drummer named Brian: The Cherry Valence) and their tours and records and worries (if they had any), none of the peripheral stuff matters anymore. You just get to a place in life where a whole set of crap that might’ve once kept you up at night no longer means a thing. The lunchbox genrefications burped up by people who flunked algebra, any perceptions of competing with other groups for anything, what the band will do next or the label they’re on or might want to be on (though we can all agree that it’s cool to see Polvo back on Merge)—that stuff’s for less experienced bands, if they want it. Now is for Polvo, and Polvo is for now.

In Prism is the best Polvo record even before you get to the majestic “A Link in the Chain,” serene and tempestuous like few other things you’ll hear. The album was recorded with Brian Paulson and Polvo has never sounded better. Don’t you agree?

—Mike Wolf, NYC, 6/09

___________________________________________________________________________________________

"Rather than try and recapture past glories, the reconstituted four-piece — original members Dave Brylawski, Ash Bowie and Steve Popson, plus new drummer Brian Quast — have recorded the most solid, coherent and tuneful album in their history." ~eMusic

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

"Polvo is still doing what they do best" —Under the Radar

"Replete with intricate rhythmic changes, buzzed-out, melodic guitars, and aggressive, lo-fi vocals, the track recalls Polvo’s earlier material, and rocks pretty hard." —Stereogum, "Total Immersion"

"With the fluid, streamlined “Siberia,” however,[Polvo] have scored a rare hat trick — taking a signature style, expanding on it, and making it novel and engaging for diehards and neophytes alike." —Seattle Times
___________________________________________________________________________________________

Polvo
Siberia

During their initial run from 1990–1998, Polvo crafted a sound so fantastically obstinate and so perfectly cockeyed that its DNA is essentially resistant to mediocrity or repetition. On Siberia, that sound feels more limber and more aerodynamic than ever. Its songs glide and bob like UFOs, both serene and unsettling. Some of that is owed to a looser approach. “Preparing for In Prism, we labored over that material pretty intensively,” explains founding guitarist Ash Bowie. “A lot of the songs on this album were not rehearsed much at all. I’d like to think this album has a few more adventurous moments.” One of those is the spiraling “Blues Is Loss,” which moves from a dense knot of sound—an impossible tangle of Bowie’s and Dave Brylawski’s guitars, Steve Popson’s chugging bass, and Brian Quast’s tumbling percussion—to a conclusion that clangs and peals like church bells. There are the classic-sounding moments, too, like terrifically herky-jerk album opener “Total Immersion,” which is grounded in surging bass and a pair of surgically focused guitar lines.

An obvious point of comparison would be to Today’s Active Lifestyles, released—perhaps not coincidentally—exactly 20 years ago. Where that album thrived on a nervous, coiled energy, Siberia feels more surefooted, more poised and controlled. It’s the work of a band that’s been here before, but the experience has only made them more at ease. Siberia is a record that’s humming with confidence, the sound of a band with nothing to prove, but proving it anyway.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Polvo
In Prism

It might be too soon to declare In Prism the best Polvo record ever…but it might be okay by the time you’re done reading this.

It’s de rigueur to ask the question, Why now? What makes a band decide to get back together for a few shows ten years later, and then for a few more? Well, I don’t know because I didn’t ask them, because the reasons don’t matter, only the results. Isn’t it pretty much always the same stuff anyway? “Because we could, because we thought it’d be fun, because we got asked.”

What I do know, and what every old fan will quickly realize seconds into In Prism’s opener, “Right the Relation”—which is so much more “Polvo” than Polvo was—is that they would not have made this record a year after 1997’s Shapes, their last album. Nor would they have two years later, or five. Not they couldn’t have; they just wouldn’t have. Only at this point in life would they be so assured, so casually stormy and intensely calm, graceful and free with their power—only as guys their age, grown-ups who grew up without growing up, without setting aside anything that made them the rock artists they were during their first, unblemished run. There is not a thing on In Prism that they aren’t doing better than before: the sidewinder guitars and the mighty roar and the moody atmospheres and the psychedelic explosiveness; the writing, the singing, the words you can understand, the ones you can’t.

Polvo spent 1990–98 giving voice to a chorus of discrete rock & roll ideas that really hadn’t been heard before. On In Prism, those ideas come together like overlaid transparencies, many planes phasing into a cool new geometry, the parts visible but inseparable. And while there was nothing wrong before, it’s now so much more right—perhaps because after ten years, after other bands (Ash: Helium, Libraness; Dave: Idyll Swords and, with Steve, Black Taj; newest drummer named Brian: The Cherry Valence) and their tours and records and worries (if they had any), none of the peripheral stuff matters anymore. You just get to a place in life where a whole set of crap that might’ve once kept you up at night no longer means a thing. The lunchbox genrefications burped up by people who flunked algebra, any perceptions of competing with other groups for anything, what the band will do next or the label they’re on or might want to be on (though we can all agree that it’s cool to see Polvo back on Merge)—that stuff’s for less experienced bands, if they want it. Now is for Polvo, and Polvo is for now.

In Prism is the best Polvo record even before you get to the majestic “A Link in the Chain,” serene and tempestuous like few other things you’ll hear. The album was recorded with Brian Paulson and Polvo has never sounded better. Don’t you agree?

—Mike Wolf, NYC, 6/09

___________________________________________________________________________________________

"Rather than try and recapture past glories, the reconstituted four-piece — original members Dave Brylawski, Ash Bowie and Steve Popson, plus new drummer Brian Quast — have recorded the most solid, coherent and tuneful album in their history." ~eMusic

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

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