Monday, October 26, 2009

New Wave for the New Week #33

Polyrock album coverImage via Wikipedia

Despite a remarkable pedigree - being associated with American minimalist composer Philip Glass, who performed on and co-produced both of their albums - Polyrock never quite got passed the level of "historical footnote" in the history of the New Wave scene.

Formed in late-70s New York City by the Robertson brothers, Billy and Tommy, Polyrock created a fidgety, phobic, but nonetheless almost ethereal sound clearly influenced by Glass's own sparse, rigidly patterned compositions. Billy Robinson's vocals fell somewhere between Ric Ocasek and David Byrne, causing many to immediately liken the band to a more severe version of The Cars or Talking Heads. As such, they were often dismissed as derivative, when in fact the music they were making was quite cutting edge for the time.

This week's NW4NW entry is the clip for Polyrock's "Romantic Me" single, from 1980. The David Byrne comparisons come to the forefront here, both in sound and look, but pay attention to the odd burbles and scrapes going on in the music. The melody loops endlessly, wavering ever so slightly each time around the cycle to create a sound that is alienating and yet satisfying. Enjoy!

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