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by on Jun 12, 2015

pores, zero swim, tape, 2015, lopie, lo pie, lo pie music Pores // Zero Swim
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Recommended Track(s): Teletext

The opening number, “Channel 98″, is over before it gets where it’s going, but it does serve as a portend or promotional trailer to the remaining 11 song-movie that is Zero Swim, the latest album by Pores, a rock band from Huntington Beach.

For the record, I reviewed In Three Colors, an earlier Pores release for this same outlet. I liked it, particularly the peculiarly titled track “Outro/21st Century N/8.” My one criticism was that at 12 songs it seemed too ambitious and a bit of an overreach. Consequently, it bugged me when I saw that Zero Swim has, you guessed it, 12 songs. One of which, “German Autumn”, is almost 11 minutes long (the length itself a pet peeve). Additionally, it was obvious right away that Pores didn’t veer vary far from their wheelhouse of influences. No need to run down the list, suffice it to say a Who’s Who of classic post punk. Fortunately for me, my irritation at what I thought would be a less than repeat disappeared at precisely the moment the vocals and guitar kicked in on the second song “Calico Train Mine Ride”. From that moment on I just blissfully rode the wave and enjoyed the ride.

Larry Holmes became heavyweight champion of the world with essentially just one main weapon, a great left jab. The lesson learned, play to your strengths, and do what you do well. Zero Swim is a collection of songs made by a group confident in what they do, and honestly, isn’t that what distinguishes rock stars from musicians who just rock. There is a continuity or uniformity to Zero Swim, but that should not be mistaken for sameness. The variety in feeling, energy, and tempo varies, making each song an entity in itself.

There was no connection to Knott’s Berry Farm that I could discern on “Calico Train Mine Ride,” just a slow heavy beat, bright lead guitar lines that shimmered like stars, and yammering vocals just short of deranged. My favorite track, “Teletext”, kills two birds with one stone. During the first half of the song I felt as if I was dancing underwater to shifting currents while watching submarines pass by, suddenly the mood and groove changes to my favorite kind of riff heavy guitar, the vocals sneering, and then it ends.

Other tracks that stood out were “I Got The Key(s)” and “Big Little Door.” “I Got The Key(s)” is a straight ahead rock n roll tune that is either about the key to the heart of the object ones desire, adolescent joy at access to the family liquor cabinet, or maybe something else. “Big Little Door” is heavy right out of the gate which only makes it more dramatic when the brakes are applied before finishing out hard again. By the time I got to the last song, “German Autumn” (admittedly still a long opus), I decided to let it go and just enjoy life, in this case the sounds that pleasantly washed over me, a musical nod to the confidence and ability of Pores.

 

6 Comments

  1. Jer Nomi
    June 13, 2015

    I have been going through a life crisis considering myself being a imp. My father never really noticed me. So i grew up naming to punk tock and roll. I have listened to thousands of punk rock and roll albums in my lifetime. My birthday was two weeks ago, walking the earth healthy at age 53 now. Still alive. Still punk. Pores to me is like seeing the light with a sprinkle of darkness. They want to sound heavy/scary but their rhythmic feel makes you want to shake your legs to the drums. The bass guitar is quite louder than the rest of the instruments but their whole aura is to feel post-punk rock and roll. I like it. ALOT. The singer wasn’t ambitious in the first albums but in 0-Swim he get’s out of his comfort zone. I feel as if he believes that he is living in the 80′s as a street shark. A real punk riding a motorbike on the streets. To bad he lives in huntington beach and is probably a 16 year old wearing docs. Not trying to comment negativity towards pores. I always liked what they put out. And 0-swim is a must listen to for the punk rock and roll fans. Keep it coming and keep it rocking pores.

    Reply
  2. c. Flames
    June 13, 2015

    this is insane. i love this

    Reply
  3. Eliot
    June 13, 2015

    Who knew people could still make music like this today? Something that actually feels new and exciting, not re-hashed, instant gratification bullshit like most bands. I just downloaded their other albums, and it’s like watching a television series grow. I feel like I can understand them a lot more after consuming their catalog. Great review, Kevin. Looking forward to the next release.

    Reply
  4. Hahah
    June 20, 2015

    Lol

    Reply
  5. Jacob Kent
    June 20, 2015

    Yeah sick

    Reply
  6. Sim Jackson (@wildstares)
    July 15, 2015

    Thank you, reviewer for not doing he ol’ “Run down the list of post punk influences” routine. Refreshing as fuck. Seriously. The thing is if you don’t know who the influences are at this point, it begs the question if you should be listening to Pores in the first fucking place. I mean, the answer is “Yes. Yes you really fucking should.” becausel this band doesn’t need a context.

    Reply

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