Polvo
In Prism


3.5
great

Review

by Jared W. Dillon USER (118 Reviews)
September 7th, 2009 | 19 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: 'In Prism' does not reach the heights of previous Polvo records, but it does present us with a new take on the Polvo sound.

Polvo made their mark in the '90s music scene by combining the textures associated with math rock into a more mainstream sound. The most notable issue with their earlier records was how across the board the various songs were. Polvo would play a track that echoed Nirvana and then immediately the next track would vamp on middle eastern tones. Still, Polvo always managed to remain a rock band. The guitars were always at the forefront and it was interesting to hear what sounds or genres the group would work with next. After the disappointing 'Shapes' Polvo disappeared seemingly to concentrate on other projects. 'In Prism' marks their first record in a handful of years and with time restraint has become the one word that defines the new Polvo.

Polvo's reunion was a welcomed one at first, but as time has gone by many have criticized the group for their new material. Many felt the group's reunion was simply an attempt to cash in on old memories (How a group with as small a fan base as Polvo's can do this is beyond me.) Credibility issues aside Polvo's 'In Prism' was met with some reluctance from old and new fans alike. 'Beggar's Bowl' the album's first single and weakest track did nothing to soothe these concerns with it's almost nu-metal style guitar riffs. Luckily the group has managed to make a record that redefines the group's old sound and still remains interesting.

'In Prism' is a lot more subdued than any other Polvo record. 'City Birds' is a great example of the focus being on hypnotic guitar patterns rather than the tour de force of guitar theatrics on 'Exploded Drawing'. Polvo also has seemingly begun to embrace far more lengthy tracks. Only one track on 'In Prism' dips below five minutes. If one was to look for a record to compare 'In Prism' to 'Sonic Nurse' is the clear answer. Like Sonic Youth, Polvo have moved away from their more experimental roots and turned their compositions into extended pieces focusing on texture and harmony. 'Lucia' the supposed centerpiece fully demonstrate this. Beginning with a meandering guitar line it slowly shifts through a barrage of melodies before erupting into a more typically styled Polvo song. New drummer Brian Quast is featured predominately edging the band into more progressively technical realms. This new found love for more lengthy tracks as well as a more refined sound does prevent 'In Prism' from fully grasping the strength of the other Polvo records. The band is far more polished and as such has lost some of the lo-fi brilliance their earlier career was based on. Replacing what was essentially a pop foundation with a progressive rock one doesn't make them as endearing as they once were. Still, Polvo has managed to make a solid record that while not living up to their previous ones is still a great example of a progression in their sound.

The important thing to note when it comes to 'In Prism' is that as hiatus records go this is one of the best in the last couple years. Polvo has paid tribute to their old sound while also developing it into something new. Most of their peers can't even begin to comprehend that achievement as Polvo continues to release relevant music nearly twenty years after their inception.



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user ratings (46)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Skyler
September 7th 2009


1084 Comments


Didn't even realize this band was still active.

pixiesfanyo
September 7th 2009


1223 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They just reunited last year for ATP.

NortherlyNanook
September 7th 2009


1285 Comments


had no idea about this but will definitely pick it up

TheGreatD17
September 7th 2009


1141 Comments


What a pleasant surprise to see they're back together, I'll probably give this a listen sooner or later.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
September 7th 2009


15743 Comments


reminds me of the soul caliber character

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
September 7th 2009


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like the artwork for whatever reason, just aesthetically pleasing I guess.

nice review

niobium
September 7th 2009


238 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i especially agree about the progressive foundation. though there are no highs like the ones found on lifestyles or drawing, it doesn't matter when the album's as thorough as it is. not a great starting point, and i can't even say continuation, but it's worth some consideration at least for the band themselves.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
September 8th 2009


3781 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yea, the artwork just looks cool. Album is real solid.

Boognish
September 8th 2009


1003 Comments


I'll need to listen to it more, but some parts are way too classic rock sounding

gaslightanthem
September 8th 2009


5209 Comments


pretty good band / will listen to this

Boognish
September 21st 2009


1003 Comments


Hardly any comments? This is a great band. Typical sputnik

gbowles
October 1st 2009


71 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

one of the greatest bands in our era... this album is one of the best, if not the best, album from 2009

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
May 26th 2010


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

listened to this album today, truly solid.

fromtheinside
August 25th 2010


19174 Comments


i love this album. wish moar people got back on the polvo wagon.

Digging: Techno Animal - The Brotherhood of the Bomb

gaslightanthem
September 13th 2010


5209 Comments


so yeah i listened

gaslightanthem
September 13th 2010


5209 Comments


even better album

joplinpicasso
October 3rd 2011


427 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Jesus Christ this is so fucking good. Come on! 3.8?? I just bumped it up to a 4.5.

This might be Polvo's best yet. And this band has always had some classic rock leanings throughout their work.

Any heard the Heavy Detour/Anchoress single?

joplinpicasso
January 24th 2012


427 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Polvo, I need youuuu.

Greem
December 13th 2013


542 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

agreed, one of the best 2009 records



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