CD review: Pontiak, Echo Ono

The record dropped this week via Thrill Jockey; video included.

With nine releases in seven years, Pontiak has established itself as one of the most prolific, genre-proof and original bands on the American rock scene. With Echo Ono, they only up the ante. Nine songs over 33 minutes and change. All analog. No bullshit. Just organic heaviness cobbled out of guitar, bass, drums, subtle washes of keyboard and droning vocals. This music is performed, not Pro-Tooled.

Pontiak continues to expand on its foundation of stoner rock, post-’60s psychedelia and ragged metal, with increasingly refined, albeit still rugged, melodies and harmony vocals. The brothers Carney — guitarist/lead vocalist Van, bassist/keyboardist Jennings and drummer Lain — still record in their farm studio in rural Virginia, using the room space and the vintage board, amps and microphones to craft the sound as much as the notes played. “No distortion pedals were used in the making of this record,” the guys proudly proclaim on the CD jacket. “Please listen at full volume.”

Good advice.

4 stars

(Out Feb. 21 via Thrill Jockey)

Pontiak - Lions of Least from Thrill Jockey Records on Vimeo.

About The Author

Eric Snider

Eric Snider is the dean of Bay area music critics. He started in the early 1980s as one of the founding members of Music magazine, a free bi-monthly. He was the pop music critic for the then-St. Petersburg Times from ‘87-’93. Snider was the music critic, arts editor and senior editor of Weekly Planet/Creative...
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