Polvo At The Black Cat, May 9, 2008

I must apologize for an unforgivable omission from my concert picks column that was a disservice to all of my loyal readers (i.e.: Mom). Somehow, I let the Polvo show slip through the cracks, and it was probably the best concert I’ve seen this year. In my master list of upcoming shows, a Word document on my home computer with all the shows I plan to recommend, I had Polvo listed at one point, but somewhere along the way it was deleted. I almost forgot about the show myself until a friend reminded me about it the day before.


Seems like the math rock giants are reuniting in order of importance/influence/legend, at least in my opinion, which is the only one that matters and is always right. We had the Slint reunion a few years back. In December 2006, Chavez regrouped for a couple of shows. Now that Explosions in the Sky has convinced Polvo out of retirement, the band has scheduled some warm up gigs, the first of which was at the Black Cat. I felt privileged to be in the crowd, particularly because of how good the band sounded. The band apologized for missteps here and there, but those were either unnoticeable or inconsequential, not really interfering with the music.


The music was about as good as math rock gets, like a heavy metal band playing jazz fusion compositions. Polvo struck a perfect balance of thunderous, plodding metal and pretty ambiance. Though Polvo, like many a math rock band, can be repetitive, when the band struck a groove, it was hypnotic. There were times during some of the instrumental numbers, which tend to stretch into jams, when my mind wandered and I was maybe a little bored, which to me makes my assessment of the show all the more unexpected. Despite losing my attention at times, Polvo made an incredible impression on me. I left so amped, jazzed and excited — almost giddy — and I don’t think that’s happened since the Boris or Dinosaur Jr. shows last year.


And I’m bumping Chavez to number three. Too much emo in their arithmetic.


–Matthew Stabley, Music Snob


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