In Prism

Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore once remarked that North Carolina quartet Polvo was the one band meeting the promise of the limitless possibilities of rock guitar. In a world where music is fabricated and governed by invented dictates, Polvo was determined to defy any pre-determined logic about what music was supposed to sound like. Critics have confused the band as math rock, when in fact Polvo’s music—while impressive with unpredictable rhythmic surges, Far East motifs and buzzing insect guitars—always held too much emotion and nuance to be lumped in with the calculated science of math-rockers. In Prism marks Polvo’s return after a 10-year hiatus. Recorded with Brian Paulson, the results are striking. In Prism proves as formidable as anything from the band’s revered catalog. What’s most noticeable are the album’s cleaner tones, and a more forthright sound that keeps even the sweetly meandering passages, such as “A Link in the Chain,” tight and focused. “We find beauty in imperfection” declares singer/guitarist Ash Bowie on the opener “Right the Relation.” Polvo not only finds beauty in the imperfect and peculiar, but their vision and intentions map incredible aural lands that dwarf most bands’ imaginations over the last 20 years.