HARMONIC DISCORD: POLVO’S COR CRANE SECRET

by Rachel Brame –

Polvo are unique catalysts of experimentation. For those who search out bands who sound ‘different’ from the pack, Polvo has paved the way and does not disappoint. Members of the band include Ash Bowie and Dave Brylawski who each play guitar and contribute to vocals, Steve Popson thumps around on bass, and Brian Quast plays drums. They were not the only band to emerge from Chapel Hill, North Carolina in the early 90’s, Superchunk are fellow indie contemporaries from the same spot on the Piedmont. Their other close audio cousins include bands like: Sonic Youth, Pavement, and Don Caballero.

I’ve never heard Polvo get any radio play but fortunately discovered them about a decade after Cor Crane came out. They landed on my ears by word of mouth and during late night spin sessions. The band creates masterfully crafted melodic dissonance as they are early purveyors of the indie post punk noise rock scene. They fly under the radar yet remain highly influential.

Cor Crane Secret is their first full length album recorded and released in 1992 via Merge Records. Its 11 eclectically arranged songs clock in at just under 47 minutes. What makes Polvo’s sound unique is their complete disregard for time signatures and typical musical arrangements. Through the fuzzy spectrum of jaunting jangly clashes, between intricate loopy guitars, bouncy bass licks, and revved up drums: there IS a method to their auditory entanglement which becomes clear the deeper one dives into the album. When each song is played individually it sounds totally unique, but let the album run front to back and the songs meld together into one another. From tracks “Vibracoda” to “Duped” it packs a complete punch of off key awesomeness from beginning to end. If you crave strange sounds in rock n’ roll Cor Crane Secret is a great album to indulge in.

1. Vibracobra
2. Kalgon
3. Bend or Break
4. Can I Ride
5. Sense of It
6. Ox Scapula
7. Channel Changer
8. In the Hand, In the Sieve
9. The Curtain Remembers
10. Well Is Deep
11. Duped


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