Pumice - Quo
New Zealander Stefan Neville has, as Pumice, wuietly released a series of amazing records that
are anything but quiet. Fearless is more like it. "Quo" is no different, as Pumice straddles the line
between lo-fi and noise, dipping curious toes into many genres and coming up with gold. This is
inspired deconstruction at its best.
You can hear Beefheart-like jagged guitar in "Pumicequo," 13th Floor Elevators psych fretwork
in "Pebbles." "Sick Bed Duvet" is a poignant tune awash in freak-folk tones; the odd, alt-
country shuffle of "Thermos in the Studio" is equally arresting.
Sanity leaves the building in the droning, obsessive "Dogwater" and "World With Worms," the
latter a kind of Tom Waits nervous breakdown with a Klezmer soundtrack. Gritty, abrasive
guitars dominate from the dusty corner of "Fort," "Whole Hoof" and "Battersby." "Beak
Remedy" ends the eleven song effort on a childlike, grainy note, not unlike the creepy "My
Mummy's Dead" coda to John Lennon's "Plastic Ono Band. Even with the bad, accordion driven
buzz, "Quo" is uplifting simply for the heady employment of any and all sounds Neville
happened to fall in love with during the recording. Brave would be a silly term for this record, as
would defiant. But with Pumice, the aim is usually somewhere in between. This is
uncompromising music for anyone willing to belly up the bar and give it a slug.
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