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Pontiak: Maker

Pontiak: Maker

Label:Thrill Jockey
Release Date:2009
Genre:Hard Rock/Metal
More info on local act


Pontiak plays the Talking Head April 24. For more information visit

By Michael Byrne | Posted 4/22/2009


Thrill Jockey

To be honest, Maker, the third full-length from ex-local stoner-rock-cum-doom-folk blear Pontiak, comes off a bit monochromatic initially. Bass dirge, echo-chamber guitar solos, a sort of saturated sonic wash that would go better, well, stoned. The record unfurls itself over time magnificently, however, and its joys are less in the tectonic shifts than in the details, the subtler moods. Bear in mind also, this impression comes after enjoying Pontiak's self-released (later released on Thrill Jockey) record Sun on Sun for nearly a year and a half--it felt like a lighter, more accessible album, heavier on raspy folk and nodding more toward the Doors than the Sabbath of Maker.

About halfway through the record comes the title track, over 13 instrumental minutes that cover all of Pontiak's bases, shifting through inky movements in well-choreographed passages of (presumable) jamming. A fuzzed-out electric guitar buzzes a thick, slowly shifting drone as a guitar melody picks up on top of it, rising from the murk farther and farther until the song erupts into a thick desert-rock burn. Over its hardly-too-long duration, it shifts moods and ideas between an almost jazzy improv, the heaviest of rock, hair-in-the-face hazy dirge, and ripping but subtle solos. The track's balanced out by a couple of minute-or-so snacks, such as the dissonant noise charge "Heat Pleasure" or your night highway drive soundtrack "Blood Pride." Meanwhile, "Honey" is as sticky as its name suggests, guitars so viscous, it feels like the song's happening in negative time, while closer, "AASSTTEERR" turns even a bit funky, leaving a listener perhaps disoriented, but ultimately well satisfied.

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