Pterodactyl – Spills Out

January 01, 1970



Pterodactyl comes out of a
noisy, aggressive, art-punk tradition, a white noise enclave of tortured
guitars and rapid-fire drum rampages. They record, after all, for Oneida’s imprint, and
once shared a guitarist with Seconds. Their earliest records were more likely
to draw comparisons to Lightning Bolt or Ex Models than Brian Wilson. Yet
somewhere along the way, this Brooklyn band
seems to have been infected with the Animal Collective/Grizzly Bear virus. Their
third album, Spills Out, downplays
frenetic energy for layered vocals, harmonies, tunes and a nod towards pop.


Not that the fire’s been
entirely doused. “Nerds,” an album highlight, alternates explosively drummed,
rhythmically intricate intervals with sweeping choral harmonies. “Zombies”,
another good one, drapes multi-colored vocal counterparts over the twitch and
twitter of no wave.   Like Parts &
Labor, Pterodactyl hitches melody to electro-shorted bursts of energy, yet
unlike that band, its members employ tunefulness not to underline punk stridency,
or even to make a contrast to it, but as an end in itself.


At times, Pterodactyl
wedges in too many layers, so that the parts blur together in a formless murk.
At others, the vocals seem overly decorative, complicated for the sake of
complexity rather than as an integral part of a song. Still, in a year when
dozens of bands are channeling Animal Collective and more than a few dipping
into Grizzly Bear-Bon Iver-Fleet Foxes style harmonies, Pterodactyl punches up
the ante. Spills Out swathes its
prickly energies in soft, ear-friendly cotton candy, balancing bite and
sweetness, urgency and pretty reassurance.


DOWNLOAD:  “Nerds”,



Leave a Reply