Review: Pomegranates - Everybody, Come Outside!
Label: Lujo Records
Released: April 14, 2009
It's not unusual to hear a new record and think, "Here's a band to keep an eye on. This is really good, but the next one could be amazing." What is unusual is for that potential to actually pan out. Considering the frequency of this scenario, there is surely a lot of ground to cover between potentially great and actually great. But don't ask Pomegranates about the unlikelihood of making good on the promise of their previous recordings, because they clearly don't know. Both their debut Two Eyes EP as well as last year's Everything is Alive full-length set high hopes. They were excellent albums, yet they didn't quite break free of their moorings. But now they offer Everybody, Come Outside! which finds them free and open and seemingly limitless.
The album is experimental. It has tremendous movement over the course of its 45+ minutes. From the big echoey chords that kick it off to the the 13 minutes of folkiness and ambient sound that close it, one thing is clear: This is not just a collection of songs. It is a single work, a musical story. To be sure, any track could stand on its own and no one is like another. Yet, the album is far more cohesive than any formula could produce and its wild energy comes from experimentation in not just the music, but the soul.
Most bands are contained by the genres from which the draw their influences. Pomegranates effortlessly ingest guitar pop, walls of jangle, sweet indie pop, punk aggitation, gentle folk, mathy precision and wild psychedelia, yet the album is so big that it contains these rather than being contained by them. Likewise, the musicianship is amazing on Everybody, Come Outside!, yet that is easily lost in the work itself, because each note, each passage serves the bigger picture. As with all great art, the work takes precedence over the artist, despite the work's artistic ambition.
Like many bands, Pomegranates made a promise with their first two releases. What makes them such a rare find is that they fulfill that promise on Everybody, Come Outside!. In fact, they exceed it. It strives and yearns, is desperate and joyous and is huge and personal. Oh yeah, and it rocks!
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