Pontiak – INNOCENCE
Opening with the title track, a Stooges-esque two-minute burst of scuzzy riffs and yelped vocals, this prolific Virginian trio launch into their tenth LP with aplomb. The three Carney brothers have been honing their distinctive take on psych and stoner rock since 2005, and beneath the surface there is a distinctive edge to these songs. Ghosts and Surrounded by Diamonds, for example, sound something like Kyuss with a more spaced-out, 70s feel, all chunky riffs and blistering overdrive.
Elsewhere, the guitar wig-outs recall the kind of space-rock explorations conducted in Hawkwind’s heyday, as Van Carney’s vocals are buried beneath a whirlwind of heavily distorted wah-wah. Yet INNOCENCE also has its quieter moments: the lolloping, frazzled country of Noble Heads and It’s the Greatest bring a melancholy edge to proceedings. It’s ultimately testament to the coherence of the trio’s vision that these changes in tempo feel perfectly integrated with the whole.