Pontiak – Maker

January 01, 1970

(Thrill Jockey)




Baltimore trio Pontiak employs a deceptively
drowsy approach on their third LP. In keeping with the stoneriffic vibe they’ve
mastered on their previous records, Pontiak lulls listeners into a bit of
surreal serenity with opening track “Laywayed,” a mellow miasma of
inattentive guitar lines, laissez-faire percussion and somnambulant vocals;
that track is followed by the brief, bass-heavy swoon of “Blood Pride,”
which, with its crunchy and concise riffage, may lead one to believe that Maker somehow intends to be a pleasant
and accessible slab of dreampop.


But as the album unfolds into heavy, lysergically
evil numbers like “Wax Worship” and brisk blasts of distortion like
“Wild Knife Night Fight,” it’s clear that Pontiak diverge from their
psych-rock contemporaries in their ability to drape volume-dealing trippiness atop
tightly wound aggression. Classic rock bangs up against free-noise chaos,
homespun folksiness is rendered hostile by maxed-out reverb and fuzz, and, by
the time the epic title track closes out the disc, a thorough brain-scrubbing
has been delivered alongside a brutal ass-whupping.


“Maker,” “Wax Worship” JASON FERGUSON


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