Arbouretum “Coming Out of The Fog”
Two great records from two great Baltimore bands came out in the past year on Thrill Jockey Records that may not have made blips on your radar. Maybe you were too busy listening to Robin Thicke or Allen Thicke or just Robyn. (I don’t blame you if you are listening to Robyn, she’s great.)
Pontiak is a band of three brothers who grew up in Virginia together. They look so much alike I thought it was one guy photo shopped 3 times in their band photo.They create a fuzzed out boogie that that grooves hard from the start on their latest release “INNOCENCE”. The first and title track has a riff that will fill you with such wild abandon you may do something stupid like make love to a wild cougar or shoot fireworks at gasoline barrels. It’s like KARP stole a long lost Cream song. In fact the first 3 songs deliver such a punch it will most certainly leave you out of breath or at least a little wheezey. “INNOCENCE” does bring it down with a healthy dose of 70’s country-fied rock that is reminiscent of the Band or Neil Young with songs like “It’s the Greatest” and “Darkness is Coming”. These songs evoke a rootsy Americana that their label mates Arbouretum also create on their lastest release “Coming out of the Fog”. Where Pontiak rocks right out of the gate Arbouretum prefers the slow burner. Dave Heumann’s voice has a deserty Will Oldham quality. Dark and moody, their lyrics remind you of Fairport Convention or Richard Thompson songs that are rife with stories of love lost and bitter sweet longing. All building up to soaring and epic guitar solos. There is no shortage of great fuzzed out riffs which will make you want to air guitar while sporting a single tear. It’s hard to pick a stand out track on the record because the songs blend so effortlessly I could not imagine them existing apart from each other. Do yourself a favor and take some time to listen these records. Seriously, it’s for your own good. Here is a link to both records on Spotify.