Pontiak

Dialectic Of Ignorance

Thrill Jockey Thrill 436-CD
  • LP: Includes download, Heavy tip-on sleeves, yellow vinyl
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Bloody-knuckled basslines bring a snarling Desert Session groove to ‘Ignorance Makes Me High’ and ‘Herb Is My Next Door Neighbor’, whilst woozy Gilmour-esque vocal harmonies imbue ‘Hidden Prettiness’ and ‘Youth and Age’ with a psychoacoustic dose of cerebral inertia. Those who have seen the brothers perform live know of their ability to harmonize, but Dialectic of Ignorance is the first album in which this talent is showcased in every song. ‘We Fucked Up’ is a pedal to the metal stoner-psych opus, while ‘Tomorrow Is Forgotten’ burns hot and slow; potent from the first note whilst relentlessly cranking up the intensity.

Pontiak grew up and live on farms in rural Virginia. Dialectic of Ignorance’s expansive structures echo the rugged, hazy climbs of this Blue Ridge Mountain setting, but don’t be fooled; this is no mere collection of pastoral instrumental landscapes. Having opened their own brewery in August 2015, the Carney brothers have had the opportunity to reassess their creative process through brewing. The lessons learned from this experimentation have had a formative effect on the both the process underlying and subsequent sound of Dialectic of Ignorance.

“There’s a definite dovetail between brewing and music,” explains Pontiak guitarist and lead vocalist Van Carney. “Both are creative processes that are full of immediate possibility. In the studio you face logistical, technical and creative challenges that are constantly evolving; it’s on you as the creator to decide which path you want to take. Brewing is no different.”

An expanded awareness of process has emboldened Pontiak’s musical explorations on Dialectic of Ignorance. “There’s beauty and truth and goodness in all hardships, and it takes strength to see that,” Van adds. “We learned that there’s limitless opportunity ahead if you’re ready to pursue it.” Literary influence was also important, with particular inspiration drawn from Karl Ove Knausgård’s sprawling confessional style, and the expressive, highly visual approach mastered by writers such as Bohumil Hrabal and Leo Tolstoy.

With post-truth politics implementing lasting change through manufactured narratives, the creative ownership Pontiak display on Dialectic of Ignorance is both elevating and empowering. Still, “it’s not a political album,” Van asserts. “The message we want to get across is the importance of being present in the moment. Maybe everything is fucked. But you can do something about that.”

Pontiak: Dialectic Of Ignorance

Easy Does It Pontiak
Ignorance Makes Me High Pontiak
Tomorrow is Forgetting Pontiak
Hidden Prettiness Pontiak
Youth and Age Pontiak
Dirtbags Pontiak
Herb is My Next Door Neighbor Pontiak
We've Fucked This Up Pontiak

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