Friday, July 20, 2007

Pumice - Pebbles

(2007, Soft Abuse)

You know those times when you listen to an artist for the first time only to completely surprised with a work of absolute creative perfection? It probably only happens once or twice a year, tops! Pumice has done it this year. Not only is this album in that field of genius but Pumice’s Pebbles is also in my "album of decade" category and onward beyond that. It's unabashedly spectacular beyond all reason. This is the kind of music that inspires cults. In my personal field of musical revelations this is up there with the first time I listened to Microphones’ The Glow Pt 2, Kallikak Family’s May 23rd 2007, Animal Collective’s Sung Tongs or The Books’ Lemon of Pink. And even still, Pumice is trying to prove himself as better than the former and almost anyone else I can think of. I could list the insanely influential and inarguably essential list of albums that Pumice seems to effortlessly and humbly belittle. I am sure that much of my mushy adorations come from personal preference (how can they not) but Pumice’s Pebbles is absolutely everything I want in an album. So what is this record, and who is this Pumice? New Zealander, Stefan Neville, is the one man wrecking machine responsible for the entire creation and Pebbles is his 3rd or so proper release amongst scores of recordings scattered everywhere. Once you hear this record you are going to think that this next statement is hilarious: Pebbles is Neville’s most refined production effort to date. The reason this is funny is because his recordings are soaked in a tub of TV static. In fact the whole DIY aesthetic makes it feel like the album is being held together by rolls of Scotch tape. Moving from the generally somber productions of his past recordings, Neville has actually recorded some fuzzed out booty shakers here on instrumental tracks like opener “Eyebath” and “Northland.” Pebbles reels from skuzzy instrumental rockabilly to damaged 60’s pop, to blissed-out, racket-filled drones to lo-fi folkish balladry that is all tied together in the most perfectly sequenced package that I have heard in a long while. It would take an absolute miracle of an album to remove this from my number 1 slot at the top of my year end list. I welcome any attempts…

-Mr. Thistle

Pumice - Northland

1 comment:

Mr. Thistle said...

an 11 really...