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In Prism - Merge
FILTER Grade: 82%

By Scott Thill on January 26, 2010



They may have never really asked to bear the genre standard known as math rock, but it’s theirs, whether they like it or not. Throughout the experimentally-minded ’90s, North Carolina’s Polvo twisted and turned guitar rock into so many arpeggios, riffs, stops and starts that wordsmiths hard-pressed to describe the band’s angular anthems turned to math, mostly because they all failed it in high school. But Polvo hasn’t failed to enrapture like the old school on this comeback release. From the sinuous pop grooves of “D.C. Trails” to the stuttering power chords of “Beggar’s Bowl,” the trio has stepped out of a time machine having more strength than ever. Savvy too: “Right the Relation” pounds, “The Pedlar” shreds, and the epic “Lucia” spaces out—all with polish and panache. Welcome back, nerds.

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