Following up on
their critically lauded debut, Ponderosa continue to intergrate their densely-woven
atmospheric vocals with the reliable pulse of their steadfast rhythms. It’s an
odd juxtaposition to be sure, one that at times tends to obscure their more
melodic intents. Nevertheless, it can be mesmerizing, as in “Navajo,”
where the rumbling tension gives way to an emphatic release of energy, or on
“Pool Party,” which builds into a kind of heavenly chorale. In a
sense, this is mood music of the highest order, and if the hum- along factor
seems somewhat negated in favor of solace and sway… well, suffice it to say
the overall ambiance establishes an identity all its own.
It may take a few
listens to fully appreciate Ponderosa’s milieu, but it’s also obvious that Pool Party is a fine effort from a band that’s
continuing to define its sound, and unafraid of defying the norms to get there.
DOWNLOAD: “Navajo,” “Pool Party” LEE ZIMMERMAN