This P Pulo Revé article was written by David Lowes, a GIGsoup contributor
Punk really represents the time when American and British music diverged. Up until that point, there were fairly analogous movements, or at least movements that seemed to play off of each other; The British Invasion of the 60s was the apogee of this shared history. However in the late 70s when Punk took off in the UK, there was a sense in US that, while Punk happened, it never really got mainstream recognition, instead acknowledgement went Punk’s nerdy cousin New-Wave.
This resulted in two very different genres emerging: in the UK, the post-punk of Wire and Gang of Four was met with US’s noise rock. Two very different genres had evolved from the same thing, although it comes to something when Gang of Four is described as “too rigid.” In the UK post-punk eventually led to The Smiths and The Stone Roses, and many other bands that began with the definite article, and in America, the development of noise rock led to bands like Nirvana and Sonic Youth.
It seems satisfying then that this British band are essentially transported from 80s America (thank God its a sound and not Ronald Reagan). But that’s not all that is satisfying about this album; the music is suitably full-blooded (think Wire, but eschewing the strange synths and attacking their guitar with an axe), but the guitar never sounds terrified for its life without reason. Make no mistake: every guitar chord is beautifully thought out, every bang of the drum is never wasted.
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Lyrically interesting enough to sustain your attention, it’s quite amazing the tenderness of the lyrics underneath the violence of the music. But forgot the lyrics and, more difficultly, forget the music, and listen to the vocals. They aren’t stereotypically screaming in your face for 60 minutes, they go from 0-60 in seconds, and they use it well. They go from tender contemplation of life to soundtrack to genocide in milliseconds. Like Wire showed it was possible to be economical in Punk, Pulo show that it’s possible to be economical with post-hardcore.
However, it does unfortunately have some weaknesses. The lyrics are too often hidden under the guitar and drums. The album, whilst intense, never seems to shake of it’s training wheels and really go for it; whilst it’s a fantastic EP to listen to, it’s one many will forgot within a few days. And that leads to the biggest criticism of all: Twelve tracks is too long. It sounds like you’re listening to the same song twelve times and that’s a real shame; no matter how hard you try, you can’t shake the feeling that Pulo are holding back.
In summary, a good EP. A good EP, not a great one.
‘É’ is out on the 22nd September