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 Newswire Movie Review
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

Polvo: Shapes



Album: Shapes
Label: Touch And Go

Community Grade (1 User)

  • A
  • A-
  • B+
  • B
  • B-
  • C+
  • C
  • C-
  • D+
  • D
  • D-
  • F

Your Grade


"Rock Post Rock," the third track on Polvo's new Shapes, is more of a stance than a song. With good guitar work that isn't afraid to rock, it brings to mind all that was good about Dinosaur Jr before J Mascis went all noodly on the guitar. Likewise, the title Shapes is as good a description as any for this album. It comes across like a 3-D relief map, with straight organic rock at its high points and structured geometric sound at the lows; the combination of the two varies throughout the album. At times, such as the aforementioned song and much of "D.D. (S.R.)," the organic component is thicker, and the guitar-rock sound obscures the underlying structure. On other songs, like the gargantuan but sparse "El Rocio" or the Sonic Youth-flavored "Enemy Insects," are representative of the map's low points: thin, hyper-structured, and somewhat cold. These sounds are not as extreme or opposed as you might think: As with any relief map or landscape, one feature does not simply drop out; it flows between the two, with one element smoothly giving way to the other. From start to finish, Shapes is the sort of journey that meanders through these elements in a way that deserves more attention than your average "post-rock" album. Polvo's genius shows through by achieving the difficult harmony between the structured and the chaotic.