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Celebrate the New Dark Age

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iTunes Review

1994 was hardly a dark age for Polvo. Alongside bands like Archers of Loaf, Superchunk, and Pavement, cerebral, guitar-driven indie rock was experiencing a renaissance, and no one practiced a more advanced form than Polvo. Originally released as a package of three seven-inch records, Celebrate the New Dark Age is a suite of fuzz-driven elasticity. “Fractured (Like Chandeliers)” is an obtuse phrase that is nonetheless a perfect descriptor of Polvo’s sound; the song funnels into itself, then spins on with flame-throwing spectacle. “City Spirit” and “Solitary Set” are poignant pop songs buried beneath layers of mangled melody and guitar debris. “Virtual Cold” is an outer-space jam that could almost be these North Carolina headbangers’ slipshod answer to a Grateful Dead jam. “Tragic Carpet Ride” and “Every Holy Shroud,” on the other hand, are nothing but tightly coiled nervous energy. The songs bring themselves close to total implosion, but Polvo always manages to keep this wild top from tilting off its axis.

Customer Reviews

"We just bought a sitar"

And they did, which one notices on later albums. This is just a fun and rocking album. The guitar play is phenomenal, like on Old Lystra. I can't say that there is a single miss here. Woven and complex, it all just comes together like only Polvo can do.

full of secret beauty

a beautiful, understated record. a high point for the 90s. few things today are as honeset and sincere as this record. by far polvo at their purest, most refined and dangerous. this record is sharp, cathartic but with a deep, secret beauty. buy it. now.

super terrific

this is SO good from start to finish. Maybe a little too short, but that'll always leave me wanting more...


Formed: 1990 in Chapel Hill, NC

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

One of the most popular and accomplished bands in the arty, noisy indie rock offshoot dubbed math rock, Polvo touched on many of the genre's hallmarks: dissonant, intricately layered guitars that often employed alternate tunings; odd, off-kilter rhythms; an emphasis on dense sonic texture; and unorthodox song structures that, nonetheless, were often unconventionally melodic. Additionally, their music had a pronounced Eastern feel that came not only from the Indian and Middle Eastern-style drones...
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