In classic New York style, POLLENS’s “Mister Manufacture” EP is full of angular, speak-singing vocals and eclectic dance rhythms. The avant-garde pop tracks are surprisingly intricate for music that simultaneously has a minimalist feel, and everything is just a little off-kilter – but the record is a killer anyway.
There’s absolutely nothing low about this EP; vocals and syncopated rhythms alike are bright, upbeat, and forcefully physical. Happily chaotic electronic drums fill the background behind shouting vocals in a classic representation of New York City, the band’s current hometown. The highly rhythmic, quirky, experimental pop-rock sound is heavily reminiscent of bands like LCD Soundsystem.
There’s often little melody to the six tracks, but each song seems to revolve around various rhythmic aspects, whether that includes electronic drums, low bass, or simply a drumstick and a cowbell. Songs like “looks” are weird and angular and performative, but a metallic edge and a driving beat make it surprisingly catchy. It’s easy to be caught off-guard, like when the opening lyric to a verse in “dinosaurs,” is “I don’t believe in outer space.” Discordant, spine-tingling harmonies only add to the confusion that makes “Mister Manufacture” even more magnetically compelling.
If you like LCD Soundsystem, POLLENS is definitely for you. It’s angular, it’s performative, and the best part is that it’s free. “Mister Manufacture” comes out next Friday, October 27 – which makes my birthday even more exciting – but in the meantime, check out “Words,” the band’s first single, below.