Pottery EP No1

Having supported Parquet Courts and Thee Oh Sees previously, plus having written songs about Hank Williams, and Andy Warhol’s attempted killer Valerie Solinas, all without releasing a proper album yet, Pottery are one of those bands who seem destined for wider acclaim but strictly on their own terms. The new release from the Montreal five piece, ‘EP No.1’ is a quirky yet melodic little beast, showing what they lack in inventive EP titles they make up for in sound.

Opener ‘Smooth Operator’ lifts off with guitar riffs stacking up, before frontman Austin Boylan’s soft crooning vocals come in sounding not unlike Edwyn Collins before the guitars unleash some post punk fury. ‘Spell’ takes it cues from the Gang Of Four school of sharp guitar bursts with elements that also sound a bit like early Pink Floyd, it’s a new twist on angular guitar pop, exiting the scene at barely over two minutes. Previous single ‘Hank Williams’ is the one which has garnered all the attention so far, with its chorus of ‘”Hank Williams does speed for the first time”, and has absolutely nothing to do with the country legend himself, and everything to do with a mate of theirs saying that’s what he thought Pottery’s tunes sounded like! ‘Lady Solinas’ sounds a bit like Jonathan Richman running off into the sunset with Devo, and although apparently the lyrics convey a darker message surrounding mental health, it’s wrapped in a melodic blast which manages to be both charming and slightly unnerving at the same time, moving through various phases on its mind warping journey.

‘Worked Up’ has a more laidback approach with its jagged guitar riffs wafting under Boylan’s gentler vocals, yet it still manages to break out into a melodic feast halfway through, and that’s what this lot are brilliant at – creating melodic spiky pop which bends and transforms into a million different sounds in each song, without ever letting go completely of the tuneful tightrope they’re all balancing on. It calls itself an EP, but there’s actually seven tunes on here, one of which clocks in at an almighty seven minutes plus! ‘The Craft’ has spooky keyboard sounds underpinning the guitar jangles, and even sounds a bit like Can or Stereolab in places with hypnotic riffs repeating over a steady motorik beat before unravelling gracefully into vocal harmonies, whereas ‘Lifeline Costume’ is the whopping tune which ends the EP, sounding a bit like the theme to a kids TV show, mixed with a dose of King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard style psych guitar riffing, before drifting through various phases of musical existence and weirdness. Signed to the same label as Idles and Fontaines D.C, Pottery are barmy but brilliant.

Pottery: No. 1 EP: Out 10th May 2019 (Partisan Records)

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From the early days of creating handmade zines, in a DIY paper and glue style, interviewing bands around town, then pestering Piccadilly Records to sell them, to writing for various independent mags such as Chimp and Ablaze, writing about the music I love is still a great passion. After testing the music industry waters in London with stints at various labels, being back in my hometown again, writing about this city’s vibrant music scene is as exciting as ever. All time favourite bands include Sonic Youth, Nick Cave, Patti Smith although anything from electro to folk via blues and pysch rock will also do nicely too. A great album, is simply a great album, regardless of whatever musical cage you put it in.