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Album Review

Still pumping out the jams consistently, the Carney brothers (Van, Lain, and Jennings) released their fifth album in two years. Like Maker and Sea Voids, it was recorded free from the distractions of city life in their Virginia farm studio. In a turn from the trio’s earlier recordings, which were primarily churned out from first-take jams, Living took more than four months to create. At first listen, there’s not a noticeable difference. The production is unchanged. Any overdubbing is subtle, and everything has a live, loose, and organic vibe. However, there is a change in the group’s approach. As an album designed to be experienced in its entirety, Living has more dynamic ebbs and flows, and the highs and lows take shape more gradually. Alongside the expectedly powerful grunge instrumentals, there are the ominous drone tracks "Original Vestal" and "Second Sun." Take it down another notch, and “Algiers by Day” and “This Is Living” are languid Queens of the Stone Age-esque fuzz-bass grooves with steamy monotone vocals. At their most mellow, the Carneys ease into some acoustic singalongs. “Forms of The” is practically a (gasp!) Grateful Dead ballad. Don’t worry, though. The barnyard-nature music is a nice off-ramp detour, and there are still enough stoner rock guitars and plodding rhythms to keep your inner highway headbanger satisfied.


Formed: 2005 in Baltimore, MD

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Pontiak's neo-psychedelic rock is created by three brothers from the Blue Ridge area of Virginia -- Van (lead vocals, guitar), Jennings (bass, organ, vocals), and Lain Carney (drums, vocals) -- who were separately involved with numerous bands in the U.S. and Europe before reconvening in Baltimore in 2005. Once together, they quickly established common musical ground and began honing a multifaceted sound steeped in '60s psych and acid rock, '70s prog and proto-metal, and '90s stoner and indie rock,...
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Living, Pontiak
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