Polvo Siberia

Polvo Siberia
6
On their second LP since reuniting in 2008, Polvo's off-kilter fury is reined in by repetitive, long-form pieces that range from cool and mathematical to monotonous. On the heels of the 20th anniversary of Polvo's classic Today's Active Lifestyles, Siberia is odd for its normalcy. Whereas the former possessed a uniquely scrappy attack and dynamic production, the latter feels like a controlled, compressed musical exercise informed by these '90s underground heroes' infatuation with '60s psychedelia. Indeed, the first line of "Total Immersion" is, "The hippie was gone before the lights came on," which is telling because the airy vocals on this record tend to enter and exit unexpectedly, while the dramatic effect also makes them feel like an afterthought. Singer/guitarist Ash Bowie has stated that Siberia was barely rehearsed prior to being captured, which led to some "adventurous moments," he claims. In some respects, he's right, but with so many of its songs employing fade-outs, Siberia also has this palpably unplanned feeling, which doesn't always pay off. (Merge)