Album Review

Pumice – “Puny” – [Soft Abuse]

abacus   4/11/2012   A Library, CD

With the awkward start of the album it seems as if Stefan Neville isn’t quite sure which direction he’s going or how he’s going to get there. Herein lies the genius of Pumice’s special brand of broke-down psychedelic noise pop; his lack of concreteness is pursued with such intimacy and intentionality that the dilapidated melodious undertakings delivered in ear blistering lo-fi fashion creep and linger so harmoniously in their ugly beauty. Sitting so very precariously on the edge of convention, these delicate tunes are so infectious you’ll find yourself humming them for days to come. I imagine some simple folk-pop driving alone through the woods, getting hopelessly lost, hitting some potholes and breaking down in a fit of exhaustive noise. Instrumental tracks (4, 6, 9) demonstrate his patient, meditative musical stylings: Trophy lives up to its name, offering a long, regal interlude on Scottish organ, while Covered in Spiders demonstrates his capacity for making purely pretty sounds. The final track marches on before mysteriously disappearing into the Scottish organ drone, suggesting that even after his four year hiatus, there’s more Pumice to come.

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