Pollock – Valentine
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Alternative Rock, Hard Rock
Sounds Like: Perfect Circle, Tool, Chevelle
Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 7/10
Commercial Value: 7/10
Overall Talent Level: 7/10
Songwriting Skills: 7/10
Performance Skill: 7/10
Best Songs: Uriel
Weakness: Overbearing Guitar, Over the top percussive accents & performances
Buffalo, New Yorks’ own Pollock releases their latest EP Valentine in 2011. Pollock has been around since 2002 & has 2 other albums to their credit. Band members include Joshua Klein (Guitars, Vocals) Ryan Patrick (Guitar), Mary Schnepf (Bass & Vocals) & Michael Quigley (Drums).
The EP kicks things off with a “New Machine” a melodic intro piece that serves up driving rock rhythms against aggressive guitar segments, & flowing melodic vocals from Klein. Track 2 “Echo” shifts gears a bit with its mystical intro, dynamic musical a flow & dynamic vocal segments & harmonies. I especially like the table accents on this track. Track 3 “Crash” serves up yet another passionate, progressive rock crescendo serving up compelling violin accents, driving guitar & hypnotic vocals that flow & ebb their way through emotional fruition. As the Ep slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical textures reminiscent of classic Chevelle, Perfect Circle, Dashboard Confessionals with perhaps a dash of Tool & Paramore. Fans of all things Progressive Metal will thoroughly enjoy this EP. As the EP slowly unfolds you will notice most of the songs are very dynamic, progressive & full of musical peak & valley. All in all this EP has some truly impressive moments on it showcasing impressive writing & lyrical content, with impressive musicianship to boot. Klein’s vocal style is hard to pigeonhole, but his passionate baritone works well within this catalogue as he holds the melody line well. All songs are short & sweet musical experiences, & packed to the hilt with everything you would expect from a cutting edge hard rock release. It’s definitely a fully loaded EP from start to finish with some heavy rocking grooves, thought provoking lyrical content, & rich melodic vocal layering. The CD ends with my favorite track “Uriel” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
Many of the guitar tracks are a bit overbearing. Knarly & menacing is a good word to describe them. So overbearing they kind of push the vocals into the background. Over time they will wear on your ears. I’m also not crazy about the percussive accents & performances on track 3 “Valentine” & track 4 “Uriel”. To me they stick out like a sore thumb & really don’t flow well with the music well. Lastly I get the sneaky suspicion this band is trying to blueprint Tool’s sound a bit.
The latest EP by Pollock is an impressive musical production from start to finish. The music is clean but is heavy, & goes down smooth, with passionate messages that are sung from a deeply honest perspective. Like the aforementioned fans that like the hard hitting modern rock sound will love this EP. There isn’t a weak song anywhere on this entire EP. I look forward to checking out the full length to be released early next year