A horrible hack

Pontiak

Innocence

Year Released: 2014
Format: Download
Label: Thrill Jockey
 
Reviewed by Alex Deller on Jul 2, 2014
'Comecrudos' was the first thing I heard by Pontiak and, until this, was somehow also the last. I thought it was a pretty great release, neatly bridging the gap between labelmates Barn Owl and Arbouretum in terms of dusty Americana, classic rock and more thoughtful, highfalutin' tendencies. This one, however, I'm a bit baffled by. Well, maybe baffled is too strong a word. I'm basically just on the fence. The first few tracks are big ol' bashers, the band thumping out a hairy set of riffs that are mid-way between Fu Manchu and Birds Of Maya (less comic book than the former, less drug-battered than the latter), referencing the likes of Free, Blue Cheer and Pink Fairies while they rawk. Just when you're getting your nod on, though, they pull the rug from under you: away go the riffs and in come the acoustic strums for a more wistful set of numbers reminiscent of The Band or something you might find glumly thumbing a ride toward Secretly Canadian HQ. There are a couple of similar switcheroos as the album progresses, and while the parts work well enough in isolation there's something weirdly uneven about it that I can never really settle into no matter how hard I try. A slight shame if not a disaster, but truth be told I'll likely be digging around elsewhere - or at least returning to 'Comecrudos' - the next time I fancy giving the three brothers Pontiak a whirl.


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