Pontiak, Echo Ono
A vibrant display of riffery
It’d be hard not to have high hopes for Pontiak’s new record – the band is comprised of three brothers who have been incredibly prolific in a short time, refining their potent rock sound while exploring the dark corners of psychedelia. Still, it’s surprising when an album lives up to expectations the way that Echo Ono, Pontiak’s seventh effort for the diverse Thrill Jockey label in roughly four years, does: This is a monster record, a vibrant display of riffery that could unite fans of Blacks Sabbath, Keys and Mountain. “Lions of Least” leads off in an eruption of MC5-gone-dirtbag fury, with Van Carney’s vocals cresting above the band’s roar. “Across the Steppe” matches its title’s galloping imagery; when the Carneys lock in together you can almost feel the wind rushing past. What makes Echo Ono more than just a good rock record, though, is the way these bros elevate the riff – the classic blue-collar-rock tool – into something transcendent, like when “Silver Shadow” and “Royal Colors” begin to glow with almost mystical power.