Lo-fi, psychedelically inflected rock seems to be almost solely the province of one-man (or woman) acts. Pumice is no exception to this rule; Stefan Neville uses the medium as his personal sonic laboratory, synthesizing various degrees of mind-warp that keep a foot in the honest-to-God psych camp as well as meandering into the honestly catchy world of quirky pop music. Neville's approach generally seems somewhat formulaic, but it's a successful formula; take a straightforward melody or hook, twist it a bit by adding just enough blue notes to make it vaguely wince-worthy, wrap everything in a gauzy sheen of effects and feedback, then make it sound like the whole thing is being played on a turntable that's riding around in the back of a large sedan, shuddering and stutter-stepping over gravel and pot-holes. The effect created is that of pop music made by someone who's only everd heard it coming over a poorly tuned AM radio with blown speakers. This kind of intentionally ramshackle, chemically altered noise pop is all the rage these days (think Wavves, Vivian Girls, or Ariel Pink), and Pumice does it as well as any of them. With Arbitron, Liver and Bacon.
Thu., July 23, 9:30 p.m., 2009