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- Comecrudos by Pontiak
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This week Thrill Jockey continue their run of classy releases with a cracking new album from White Hills and this 25 minute mini-album from the trio of brothers collectively known as Pontiak. The first ten minutes or so of this record are based around rumbling, organic drones which build and recede gracefully, with added brass texture in places. After this extended creak-and-churn section, however, they suddenly drop into a beautiful fingerpicked guitar line, tastefully backed by tastefully minimal drums, synth and bass, with some ever so soft and soothing vocals over the top. To my ears these quiet bits occupy a pleasant place in between pastoral folk and slacker rock. The second side continues this pleasantness, but before too long they're back to more experimental business, with some harsh and repetitive brass stabs bringing out a whole new side of the casual groove, only to vanish and bring the song back down to its previous warm, plodding state. There's some vocal harmonies here, too. Rarely do you hear such experimentalism without an apparent fear of tunes, but these guys seem to embrace both ends of the musical spectrum and bring them together in an unforced and rewarding way. On the closer, the drum groove from the previous track continues as the band lay out a slow and graceful melody on guitar and organ, before the chord sequence is stripped back to just the organ one last time. This mini-album really does feel like a single piece of music, which evolves throughout the course of the record to take us all sorts of places. Visionary and uncluttered stuff.
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