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Album Review

Pumice – “Quo ” – [Soft Abuse]

Thurston Hunger   8/26/2008   A Library, CD

Phonebox vox and dirty laundry rocks. You know sometimes that
ol’ dirty laundry just fits better, and Pumice offers a track
like “Pebbles” that was last washed (stone-washed?) in the 60’s.
Perhaps “Pebbles” is a chip off the old Australian collections
of the same names (or a connection to Stefan Neville’s last
Pumice outing which was also called “Pebbles”). The leadoff
title track here, has a nice Skeleton Crew or Henry Cow kinda
awkward swing to it, but then surrenders its swagger to a
sort of two-chord skroool out. “Dogwater” mates falsetto
and bull-frog doo-doo-woop in a slow weirdo waltz. “Battersby”
packs decades of New Zealand angst into 3 minutes and ten
seconds of scratchy guitars, compressed vocals and hospital
alarm keyboard octaves. This gets the Ro-Fi royal seal of
approval (in honor of a short-lived KFJC DJ, Monkey Punch
whose Japanese accent took Lo-Fi to its next step down!)
Still while tracks like “Fort” and “Whole Hoof” earn that
badge, there are moments of fun frivolity like “Thermos
in the Studio” and the closer “Beak Remedy” where an
accordion wonders about the meaning of life, cobwebs
in its bellows. As the saying goes “Dude, Pumice!”

-Thurston Hunger

you heard it 35 times on kfjc! most recently:
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Max L says

the Pumice project totally rules.

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