BY MICHAEL TOLAND
If the knotty, challenging, instrumentally advanced records by Polvo had appeared in the ‘70s, they would have been labeled prog and put the band in the company of Yes and Rush. But the North Carolina quartet arrived in the ‘90s, when the progressive rock label left a stain, so the group carved out its cult audience in indie rock drag. #Siberia#, Polvo’s sixth full-length, stays the masked prog course, working more melody and harmonies into its layers of guitar. “Anchoress” and “Total Immersion” favor easy flowing tunes over pyrotechnics, letting the axes serve the melodies, rather than the other way around. “Ancient Grains” turns off the electricity for an exercise in acid folk, while “Changed” and “Light Raking” stand as nearly pure guitar pop. The track truest to Polvo’s vision may be “The Water Wheel,” with singalong chorus hooks sitting confidently on Ash Bowie and Dave Brylawski’s six-string latticework like birds on a telephone wire. Ambitious and inviting, #Siberia# puts Polvo in a more accessible place while remaining faithful to its artistic vision.
DOWNLOAD: “The Water Wheel,” “Anchoress”