Perhaps the most amazing thing to consider when listening to Pontiak’s Comecrudos is that no distortion or overdrive pedals were used in the making of the album. The gear, bare and raw, is straightforward.
The music, however, is anything but straightforward. There are four pieces, named by part alone.
The intent behind Comecrudos was to serve as a sort of soundtrack for the desolate landscapes of our world. It was recorded by the band as the music for a drive from Phoenix to the Big Bend area of Texas, in fact, and the vibe is open, sparse, bleak. Yet there’s dignity to it and, just as there’s splendour in anguish, there’s astonishment in these four movements.
Comecrudos walks the line between complete sparseness and tuneful organization. To call these pieces of music “songs” would be accurate but only barely. There is a devout musicality at work that reveals work influenced heavily by Pink Floyd, Boris, Sunn O))), and other more challenging masters.
The Floyd hammers home especially at about a buck and a half into “Part II.” Vocals emerge over twangy guitar and a gloss of sound. “Drive fast, over the mountain.”
The 25 minutes of music on Comecrudos can’t really be spliced into songs or parts or tracks that easily, though, as the record resembles a continuous journey. The breaks in the haze, as mentioned above, come like a cool breeze over stagnant heat.
While the EP is clearly challenging in some ways, especially to those unfamiliar to the ways of drone, space rock, post-rock, and so on, it is surprisingly straightforward in others. Pontiak gamely resists the urge to go “full Sunn O))),” calling on traditional methods of songcraft to pull through the almost folky “Part III.”
Even with the gauze of the bookend pieces, Comecrudos still wants to be a record that you’ll tap your dashboard to. With horns, keyboards, guitar, drums, bass, and magic, Pontiak never abandons the sheer mentality to create sound that moves and drives journeys along. Like Pink Floyd, songs matter – even if the form is sometimes hard to quantify.
This was originally published as Review: Pontiak – Comecrudos at Blinded By Sound.