Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Album Review: Pontiak - Sun on Sun; Free MP3

Pontiak - Sun on Sun

Pontiak is the riffingest band this side of The White Stripes. Pontiak's latest effort, Sun on Sun (due in September from Fireproof Records), is full of monster jams with '70s-style heavy, heavy guitar riffs that will absolutely blow away your rock sensibilities, not to mention most Zeppelin-biting wannabe rock outfits on the scene right now. Each track recorded live (except for vocal overdubs), this follow-up to Valley of the Cats (read Any Given Tuesday's review here) is much more experimental, albeit dissapointingly even shorter than the last album. Having recorded the tracks live (whether or not an artistic or financial decision), there is a much more organic feel, an unpolished groove that a highly polished and overdubbed rock album just can't give.

The title track, "Sun on Sun", is a booming 9-minute straight up rock and roll song with all the noise, feedback, riffage, majestic beauty and total aural assault that would compare to two giant stars colliding in outer space, like a literal Sun-on-Sun. So few rock bands can write long songs that don't waste four minutes before fizzling into insipidity that it might do music shops and the art of rock a favor to hand out this CD with every new guitar sold to a snot-nosed kid who wants to play like [insert vapid, overblown rock band here]. This song absolutely embodies what it means to jam in a band. It oozes chemistry like only a trio of brothers such as Pontiak can do. If that's not enough to get you on board, the low, chugging groove of "Shell Skull" that flows into an amped-up chorus mandating you to stomp your feet and rock out will do the trick. With the beefy gain-cranked solos of that song and the vicious, powering riffs, the message is this: rock and roll has not left us, it's just moved to Greene County, Virginia. And just you wait for the keys on "Tell Me About". Get ready for the shred!

The truest flaw of Sun on Sun is its awfully light 7 tracks. "Sun on Sun" is a monster, but "Swell" is noise-filler. Fortunately, the firepower returns on "White Hands", carrying into the bluesy beginning of "White Mice", which totally changes horses mid-race, in a good way.

Sun on Sun is a formidable follow-up to the last album from Pontiak. What it lacks in length it makes up in depth.

While you have to wait until the end of summer to get Sun on Sun, you can buy Valley of the Cats on Pontiak's MySpace page.

Download Episode 2 of the Any Given Tuesday podcast, which features "Sun on Sun".

Free MP3 Download: Pontiak - "Shell Skull"


Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking the time to review one of my fave Baltimore bands! I'm really looking forward to the new album.

catdirt said...

greetings from san diego! i'm working my way through your blog after catching dan deacon and videohippos in san diego last night. this is one of the bands i wanted to hear, so... cheers!