Thursday, May 18, 2006

Guitars made out of rubber

Play it: Polvo - The Merge Years ('92-'95)

Many of holes in the Merge back catalogue became Rhapvailable yesterday. Of note were nine Superchunk singles (containing about 8 songs not available on their three odds n' end compilations;) several great albums from Lambchop, The Radar Bros. and The Rose Buds; and all the Merge works of Polvo, which for me, is the real prize here.

Formed in Chapel Hill, NC in 1990, Polvo used alternate tunings, Eastern music drones and a liberal amount of the tremelo bar. Guitarists Ash Bowie and Dave Brylawski's two guitar attack still sounds inventive to this day, even after The Archers of Loaf took a similar sound and made it more accessible. You can still hear their influence in bands like Lenola, Vidi Vittles and especially The Joggers (hear "We've Been Talked Down".)

The album Today's Active Lifestyles (1993) was probably their creative peak, with gems like "Thermal Treasure," "Time Isn't On My Side," and "My Kimono." The other album I highly recommend is their follow-up EP, Celebrate The New Dark Age (1994.) The playlist above contains highlights of the bands years with Merge, and while they went on to record a couple more interesting albums on the Touch & Go label (not to mention Bowie's contributionso to the band Helium,) it was these years on Merge that they truly put their imprint on the Noise Rock/Math Rock genres.

Confessional: Back in the day, a bandmate/roommate friend and I had a challenge involving coitus and f*cked up music, and needless to say, when we tried to slip any Polvo on, our female counterparts would complain and any chance of 'getting it on' was out the window... still had to try. The key was having a disc-changer and starting with something more acceptable like Liz Phair, then, say, have it followed by Rocket From The Crypt. Polvo (and Trumans Water, for that matter) was a sure bet for coitus-interruptus... I guess they're sort of the anti-Marvin Gaye.

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1 comment:

drake leLane said...

Polvo - The Merge Years ('92-'95)

* "Thermal Treasure" - Polvo
* "Fractured (Like Chandeliers)" - Polvo
* "Vibracobra" - Polvo
* "Batradar" - Polvo
* "Time Isn't On My Side" - Polvo
* "Tragic Carpet Ride" - Polvo
* "Can I Ride" - Polvo
* "My Kimono" - Polvo
* "Every Holy Shroud" - Polvo