Everybody, Come Outside! CD - Lujo

On their sophomore release, Everybody, Come Outside!, Cincinnati art-pop quartet Pomegranates combine The Flaming Lips' lush indie-pop, Modest Mouse's artful groove, and a heaping tablespoon of conceptual storytelling, evocative of The Decemberists or The Arcade Fire, that revolves around a boy's abduction by a time travelling extraterrestrial. Fortunately, Joey Cook (vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion), Isaac Karns (guitar, bass, samples, percussion, vocals), Josh Kufeldt (bass) and Jacob Merritt (drums, percussion) focus their energy on the musical elements and do not get mired in the narrative. There seems to be something urgent, chasmed, and disciplined in almost each song: a feeling of control conveyed in a lightly chaotic sense. The chorus to the opening title track sounds as if it was deliberately recorded in a cavern with natural reverb and echo, with vocals shot through a megaphone: an effect that functionally underlines the song's plot, which introduces the album's otherworldly tale in flashback form. By fourth tune, the pop-strummed "Southern Ocean," the protagonist has set forth on a cross-oceanic trek, "Ready to swim to the farther shore/not scared anymore." He soon begins a more extended journey thanks to a curious ET in a UFO. The band also does well on the pumped-up "Coriander," hardened by tousled drum beats, reverberating guitars, and a dream-pop arrangement. The acid-pop "Jerusalem Had a Bad Day" has a shimmering stimulation that initially emulates The Mighty Lemon Drops and later switches to a Modest Mouse-esque tone, highlighted by bouncy percussion, start-stop bridges, and stabs of chiming guitar. The beat-era pop piece "Tesseract" has a similar construction with a catchy melody. However, Pomegranates stumble on nautical, acoustic tidbit "Sail," which sounds like a Stephen Stills throwaway; the pointless and laggard ambient slice "384 BC"; and the indulgent, 13-minute closer "I Feel Like I'm a Million Years Old," which meanders with an acoustic chord progression that continues for over 11 minutes. The tune is a cheerless drag to an otherwise fine alternative pop outing.

By Doug Simpson




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