mercoledì 15 agosto 2012

Model Citizens 80-83

Polyrock deserved better, but timing is everything in music. This artsy sextet made intelligent, original, agitated music that threw giddy melodies into the boiling stew of atonal angst and restless rhythm.Strongly influenced by minimalism, the group was produced by the composer Philip Glass and Kurt Munkacsi. They were absolutely great, in my opinion, one of the best new wave post punk band coming from new York in the early eighties. The band, led by singer/guitarist Billy Robertson (formerly of the group Model Citizen), had a keyboard-heavy, pattern-based sound strongly reminiscent of Glass’s work; in fact, Glass performed on their first two albums. Polyrock’s lineup also included vocalist Catherine Oblasney, guitarist Tommy Robertson, drummer Joseph Yannece, keyboard player Lenny Aaron, and Curt Cosentino. The group signed with RCA by 1980, and delivered their debut album that same year. Great music, great feeling. But this seemed to be just the beginning. Another album followed in 1981 and it was a masterpiece: "Changing Hearts" i still one of my favourire album of all the times, full of unforgettable songs like the epic instrumental "Slow Dogs".  Absolutely fascinating in its extremity, Changing Hearts follows the same basic pattern of their debut but it was even better, a journey thru an austere dance music to a taste of straightforward pop. Polyrock was perhaps the greatest band of the early new wave era that didn’t “make it,” and the fact that they never broke through to at least some cult level of success in the early 80s has always been a mystery to me. Listening once again to their last official recordings, the mini "Above the fruited plain", they sound absolutely incredible, a perfect combination of dance-friendly new wave and dissonant, minimal no wave. Here's their 1982 Radio special; the focus is shifted to Billy Robertson, the vocalist and guitar player for the group. He talks a lot about what exactly “new wave” means,including many Polyrock's complete songs. So if you’ve never heard of Polyrock there’s still something here for you to check out if you love new wave, because Polyrock was one hell of a new wave act.