subota, 21. srpnja 2012.

Pomegranates - Heaven


Savršen indie-pop za ljetnu jesen.

"For a genre that defines itself by working outside of convention and following its own set of rules, indie rock has followed a fairly standard formula for mainstream success in recent years. A tight song structure, a hook-heavy chorus, and a few lush, poppy guitar lines can carry even the most under-the-radar bands to heights that once seemed implausible just over a decade ago. Just look at what it did for Modest Mouse. That said, Pomegranates are a band of the times, and they know the rules. The Cincinnati, OH-based indie poppers won’t sell anyone on their ingenuity, but Heaven, the band’s fourth release and first for the Modern Outsider label, is ample proof that the band knows their way around a pop song.
Soaring, angular guitar work, echoey vocals, ample organ, and a bevy of subtle studio touches define Heaven, which makes good use of the lush, atmospheric sounds first popularized by bands like Joy Division and The Smiths so many years ago, albeit without much of said bands’ maudlin undertones. The album opener and title track sets the tone with numerous interlocking layers, and flourishes that make for music as exotic and inviting as the band’s name might suggest. The peaceful, blissed out “Something Everybody Wants”, on the other hand, wallows in sweet-sounding, piano-driven ambiance. But even when the band decides to get louder and crankier, as on “Night Run”, they still exercise a deft mastery of sonic arrangement.
Indie purists might scoff at Pomegranates’ willingness to settle cozily into a complacent happy place where the less challenging sounds of new school indie rock reign, but beyond that narrow scope, it’s easy to see that the band has a pretty good thing going for itself. Heaven is the work of an act largely disinterested in being pinned down by indie rock dogma, and instead far more interested in writing solid pop songs. All things considered, it’s fair to say that they made a wise decision" - Ryan Bray

"You can listen to a full-album stream of Heaven through AOL's Spinner here.
Heaven is the quartet’s first album under their new deal with Modern Outsider, the relatively new Austin, Tex.-based label that released the latest LP by Cincinnati Indie duo Bad Veins, The Mess We’ve Made, earlier this year.Heaven is the Poms’ most dynamic effort yet, perfectly meshing the group’s trademark twilight sparkle, artsy but fluid experimentalism and hooks that creep rather than nag. That mysterious, trickling, hypnotic ambiance that has pervaded the group’s sound from the start is layered more vividly thanks to the strong new material and co-producer Miguel Urbitztondo, who has worked magic on similarly enigmatic recordings by Sparklehorse and Daniel Johnston.
Heaven is a great sounding album, for you fidelity-heads — with a good set of headphones or speakers, one can hear in crystal clarity the subtle yet magnetic ornamentation lurking around each corner. “Art Pop” is perhaps the most fitting descriptor of the Poms and Heaven is a modern Indie music masterwork, eschewing the rule-book of Pop music with structural twists and turns that are consistent and fluid but rarely predictable. 
Listening to the album in full for the first time is a completely mesmerizing experience, reminding me of the way a great film or the best albums by Popadelic Indie giants of Montreal can pull you into a different dimension. On Heaven, the listener follows Pomegranates as if the four musicians were spirit guides on the thrilling sonic journey, rolling through Ambient Pop like the title track, then traveling on through the falsettoed New Wave Funk of “Passaway,” the pining, emotional piano-ballad-on-a-heartbeat “Surfing the Human Heart” and the Bon Iver-esque “Dream.” “Letters” is a clear standout and encapsulates everything Pomegranates do so well in one track; it’s the song you should send your friends who ask, “What do they sound like?” The track opens with harp-strings and floats on a gauzy, hazy and lazy pulse of tom-drums and other sparse percussion, reverbed-out Surf-like guitar and a chant-like melody. Then, without notice, about a minute and a half in, the tranquility is interrupted by a distorted blast of noise before falling back into the song at a more lively pace, those chanting melodies becoming more extroverted and less muted. The song continues to build, the harmonies stacked higher and higher, the dirty bass dirtier than ever, and the drums trekking along like a vintage train-shuffle beat rewired for a Bullet Train trying to break a speed record, before collapsing in overdriven, buzzed-out exhaustion. 
Listening to “Letters” alone is more rewarding than listening to 75 percent of the albums being released today. Tack on the nine other gloriously creative tracks and you have an album so fantastic, if it doesn’t move the semi-underground cult faves closer to becoming more of a household name to the majority of Indie music fans on the planet, I’ll weep for the future of music." - Mike Breen

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