Pomegranates - Heaven
Record Label: Modern Outsider
Release Date: June 5, 2012
There's a lot to say about the Ohio band Pomegranates. For starters, they don't really seem Midwestern. Not with their bleached blonde hair and their all-white stage outfits. Nor in their musical output, a high-brow slice of indie-pop that is airy, supple and incredibly heartfelt. They seem strangely of another world and their latest disc, Heaven, is proof of that.
Though it opens modestly with the gnomic title track, there's a lot to like here. Whether its the Bee Gee's send-up "Pass Away," or the twinkling "Ezekiel," there's something deeply profound about every passing second here. On "Sisters," guitars zig and zag and the song's tone is buoyant and bright. If the band excels at one thing, it is an innate ability to write hip-shaking, toe-tapping, beer-swilling gems.
Heaven hits its apex in the middle half. "Something Everybody Wants," is absolutely mesmerizing. Utilizing just falsetto, piano and armfuls of restraint, the song is an absolute knockout. Sincere, deeply affecting and nothing short of gorgeous, it is a song that vaults Pomegranates to the top of the Midwestern indie-rock scene.
Equally as stirring is "Letters," a dreamy and luminescent cut that is gauzy, saccharine and unpredictable. At first, the song coasts along like a touching love song but vaults itself into a fuzzy, psychedelic realm that sends the song to another place altogether. And then, in an effort to prove just how first-rate the quartet truly is, they offer up "Dream," an immaculate and indelible exercise that is arguably one of the prettiest songs ever written about commitment.
And never content to let the album's middle half do all the talking, Heaven ends with three more head-turners. "Night Run," begins tepidly but bursts into a huge chorus, and a flourish of twinkling keys in the latter half, while "Lost Lives," is buzzy and twinkling. But neither of those are as strong as the languorous valentine "Surfing the Human Heart," in which Pomegranates revisits the halcyon moments of "Something Everybody Wants," and pushes the band, and the album towards something truly revelatory.
Being that the band is a little over a half-decade into creating music, it seems fitting that Heaven is the band's zenith moment. After all, while many bands hole away for years at a time before releasing material, the boys in Pomegranates never shy away from their love of recorded material. Though they've only been a band since 2006, they've already release four full-lengths and two EPs. And it is that constant desire to create new music that makes Heaven so deeply rewarding and so worth the time. Sure the name may be new to you, but with a disc this compelling and this inviting, it won't be long before Pomegranates isn't just Ohio's best kept secret.
I like "Heaven", "Ezekiel", "Night Run" and "Lost Lives". "Sisters" and "Letters" are decent.
"Passaway" is ruined by those Michael Jackson-y vocals. "Something Everybody Wants" is just bland and doesn't stand up to their previous slow songs. The falsetto in "Dream" is neat at first but gets grating by the end of the song. "Surfing the Human Heart" is either religious and boring or just boring.
I think the album is just too sugary and lovey-dovey for my taste... the word "love" is used a LOT. And there's too much MJ/Prince influence.
Until this album they hadn't written a single song I didn't like. Everybody, Come Outside! is probably my favourite album of theirs... I put "This Land Used To Be My Land, But Now I Hate This Land" on at parties any time I get the chance.
Check out Enlou. Same label, similar sound, only not quite as good.