A.V. Club Most Read

News Newswire Great Job, Internet!
TV Club All Reviews What's On Tonight
Video All Video A.V. Undercover A.V. Cocktail Club Film Club
Reviews All Reviews Film TV Music Books
Features All Features Coming Distractions Newswire
Sections Film Tv Music Food Comedy Books Games Aux
Our Company About Us Contact Advertise Privacy Policy Careers RSS
Onion Inc. Sites The Onion The A.V. Club ClickHole Onion Studios


We get a lot of records sent to us here at The A.V. Club. Fortunately, we end up liking some of them. In Playlisted, we share our latest recommendations.

Album: Echo Ono by Pontiak, (out now on Thrill Jockey)

Press play if you like: Alternately soothing and snarling psychedelia that’s tuneful, traditional, and tightly reined, even as it flaps off into the stratosphere; the bright, cleansing fire of overdriven analog amps.

Some background: Comprising three Southern brothers on a humble mission to distort roots-rock to the point of oblivion, Pontiak comes across like Kings Of Leon from a darker alternate dimension. On Echo Ono, the trio of Van, Lane, and Jennings Carney have crafted their best work yet: a shotgun wedding of twang, texture, and gritty, progressive garage-blues that never sacrifices soul for the sake of brinksmanship. Instead, it embraces both. “Expanding Sky” hemorrhages loose, ragged, Wilco-esque harmonies while loping along like a wounded buck; “North Coast” adds a jazzy, post-rock elasticity to its epic riffage. By the time the closer, “Panoptica,” is rolled out, the hinges have come undone—and a toxic spume of white noise spills across the highway, dissolving all in its path. Rather than diluting the more song-oriented tracks that precede it, though, it underscores just how emotionally harrowing, texturally adventurous, and one-the-edge-of-implosion Echo Ono is.

Try this: Opening song “Lions Of Least” is an accessible point-of-entry that gently points toward Echo Ono’s gradual, inexorable discombobulation. As a freestanding slab of raw, feral, yet tautly cerebral rock ’n’ roll, it just slays.