“Beggar’s Bowl,” the first track to be unveiled from Polvo’s forthcoming In Prism, is as good as a fan could hope for, but not likely what they’d expect. (Download here, and read more after the jump).
Even though one might consider this a relatively straightforward alt-rock jam—and it feels like it might be—“Beggar’s Bowl” is as adventurous as it is easy to follow. This is, in part, because guitarists Ash Bowie and Dave Brylawski work more in tandem here than we’re used to hearing. Rather than winding in and out of each other’s lines, they’re riffing in the same direction, cracking discordant notes like t fireflies. To steal an image from early Polvo, this chandelier is less about the fragments, and more about the prismatic light that shines through it.
Here the rhythm section—bassist Steve Popson and drummer Brian Quast—are heavier and more pronounced than ever, thumping out a driving foundation for the guitar gymnastics Bowie and Brylawski have in store. And even as the two axemen present a united front, their lines zigzag, cascading like falling shards of glass or snaking like a crack in a sheet of ice. This is, after all, still Polvo.
Much like the resurrected band’s first shows last summer, the Polvo shown on “Beggar’s Bowl,” and indeed on the new album, In Prism, is a more confident band assured of its approach and willing to expand the template. This is a new Polvo song, not an old one with a new name. It’s like this could have happened anytime between 1997 (when Polvo’s last studio album was released) and now.