Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pebbles (detail)
Pumice - Pebbles LP - Soft Abuse - $13
Originally issued in 2007, right before it was a given that there'd be an LP pressed along with the CD, and a few years before everyone knew what you meant when you said Xpressway, Soft Abuse have decided to issue the record in LP format for the first time, and kudos to them for reminding us all what a classic Pebbles is. And even though Pumice -- Stefan Neville -- has been releasing music since the early 90s, time feels about right for a "rediscovery" of his impressive body of work; what better way than with a beautiful LP, especially since this is only the 3rd full-length of his to be pressed on vinyl(!). (I mean, on one hand there is no shortage of love for Pumice, on the other there were maybe 15 people in the crowd the last time he played Portland.) The record itself is a collection of "pop" songs gently smothered in distortion, which is to say the early 90s kind of lo-fi and not the ear-bleed of the Aughts. And the songs themselves remind that you can wriggle quite a bit of craft into a song without risking it's pop appeal, and also that a single artist -- when that artist has a style and vision -- can range over a wide territory of mood and tempo without it feeling eclectic. Pebbles is a great place to dig into Neville's world of home-made experimental pop for those new to it, and also a welcome reissue for those who loved it on CD.

$13, email to order.

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