By not staying bound by the narrow punk straits that have predominated this millennium, they keep their possibilities wide. And what’s blossomed in their case is a nice sonic range that boasts a bright psychedelic pop ability and an exceptional amount of dimension for a young garage band.
Perhaps the surprising part, then, is that when this foursome flares up in one of their more charging songs, they come with more fire and kick than most of their more punk contemporaries. When they push the pedal and rock, it’s one towering attack. And it’s not just basic volume and snot either. This is the kind of focused and fortified power that comes from acuity of song and heat-seeking chops.
What seemed promising on paper ended up being one of the best chances I’ve taken in a long time. There’s a shock of revelation whenever you come across a band that’s simultaneously this complete and this obscure. At some point, one of those conditions has to give. Until then, Pono AM are ready.
Opening was curious local cowpunk group Pasty Cline. As their name implies, they’re a sort of garage-minded burlesque of country music that’s a little fucked and a lot of fun. It’s a freaky-tonk sound that often plays like warped and shredded cowboy songs. They’re not only interesting but also a pretty original voice around these parts. Consider them alongside Slim Walker and His Orchestra, who concluded the night, and you could maybe see the groundwork for a left-field country scene. Now that would be interesting.