Thrones, Pontiak, Helen Money | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Thrones, Pontiak, Helen Money Free Recommended Soundboard

When: Mon., May 11, 9:30 p.m. 2009

Brothers Van, Jennings, and Lain Carney recorded Pontiak’s new album, Maker (Thrill Jockey), in their 12-by-12-foot studio in rural Virginia, and the organic, cohesive sound of their heavy, hypnotizing rock makes them seem telepathically wired. They kick out post-Sabbath grinders (the epic title track) and un­expectedly elegant instrumental swingers (“Bloodpride”), and even detour into acoustic territory with the haunting “Seminal Shining.” Van’s saturated, thickly resonant electric guitar, whose warm tone reminds me a little of Greg Sage’s playing in the Wipers, hovers and slashes over the in-the-pocket grooves Jennings and Lain lay down on bass and drums. The guitar and bass often bleed smoothly into each other, creating a single huge bottom-heavy sound, and the buried vocals—Van sings lead, the other two sing backup—work their own narcotic charm with simple, incantatory melodies. This music has the power of a wrecking ball, but it moves with unmistakable grace. Thrones, the solo project of former Earth and Melvins bassist Joe Preston, headlines; Pontiak and Helen Money open. —Peter Margasak

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