[26 June 2008]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
The Pomegranates seem, at first glance, to be another straight-ahead power pop group. And, well, maybe they are. But they aren’t hedging their bets on the size of their riffs, though there are many of those that come fast and in droves on Everything Is Alive. Instead, the band takes its sweet, energetic sound, and bolsters it with a heavy dose of compelling atmosphere. “Who/Whom” is driven by the guitar and vocals up front, but they way the keys drone in the background, and how the drums are chopped up by tom hits, keeps the song from becoming generic. “Late Night Television”, a scorned lover track, is simple rock but the slight echo in Joey Cook’s vocals gives the song that much more heft. As the record goes on, these flourishes multiple, so much so that they border on shoegaze, but stay clear enough to be something more than just another My Bloody Valentine copycat. Couple the ever-surprising changes in the songs with a few striking lyrical moments—“everyone I’ve ever met is so in love with wet cement”—and Everything is Alive becomes an original and energetic debut full-length. It may lack a real show-stopping moment, but what it lacks in peaks, it makes up for in consistency.