I always hesitate to use the word “deserve.” It seems to me that if you and I are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that we’re crappy people and that in a true world of tit for tat, we’d be S.O.L., deserving of pretty much nothing, except maybe a tuna sandwhich. Maybe.
But I’m going to steer clear of my normal negative course for a second because certain things inspire me. Like music. And I’m going to drop the “D” word because I’ve seen a certain band make sacrifices, take chances and play damn good music, rendering themselves deserving. Deserving of good things. Deserving of your notice. The band? Pomegranates.
With humble beginnings in the heart of Cincinnati – where neighbors throw block parties that farm animals are also invited to – two friends, Jacob Merritt and Isaac Karns, began playing music. The two grew to four including Joey Cook and, most recently, Curt Kiser, and humble song-writing turned prolific. The next three years saw the release of three full-length albums, Everything Is Alive, Everybody Come Outside and One Of Us - with the band receiving critical acclaim from the likes of KEXP, WOXY, Spin and more. And 2012 has promised us another, Heaven.
With a new label home in Austin-based, Modern Outsider, Heaven, lives up to it's lofty name and is Pomegranates at their very best and most diverse. Unlike past albums, Heaven grabs you just as soon as the first note drops and it doesn't let go. "Pass Away" is pop perfection and shows us what we're dealing with. While most bands don't have one decent vocalist to speak of, Pomegranates have two. And they're not decent. They're amazing.
In past recordings Karns was the forceful vox, Cook the quirky tenor. While the balance between the two still remains, both vocalists have progressed far beyond these pigeon holes. On "Sisters", Cook sings with such clarity and restraint he transcends far beyond the trappings of indie rock and leaves no listener questioning his gender. Equally on "Dreams", Karns is unrecognizable from past performances as he drifts into dreamy falsetto. All the while Jacob Merritt’s propulsive drumming leads the way and is matched only by Curt Kiser's shimmering guitar tones.
On Heaven Pomegranates showcase their musical diversity and uncompromising vision. From Pink Floyd swirls on the rollicking "Letters", to the stripped-down piano stylings on beat-driven, "Surfing the Human Heart", the album reads like the best of roller coasters. A unique blend of stirring and surprising psychedelic dream rock that's as tender as it is ass-kicking: Pomegranates own this. Sweet, thoughtful, innocent, direct, wild - Heaven has clearly come to earth. What could be more deserving of your listen?
Pomegranates are Jacob Merritt, Isaac Karns, Joey Cook and Curt Kiser. They've shared the stage with Peter Bjorn and John, Menomena, Spoon, Wye Oak, French Kicks, Headlights, Islands, Ra Ra Riot, Phantogram, Jimmy Eat World, Blitzen Trapper, Ted Leo, Figurines, Aloha, The Besnard Lakes, Young the Giant and more. Heaven hits streets June 5, 2012 on Modern Outsider.
- Jocelyn Aucoin
Logo (coming soon)
Press Photo (Hi-Res)
(photo credit Drew Jacoby)
“BEST BID AT THE BIG TIME: POMEGRANATES” – Spin
“The group’s grasp on the finer points of cooking up melodies and honeycombs far surpasses their years… They are songs that will challenge you, make you swoon and also make peer out longingly to the twinkling stars up above on a clear-lit night.” – Daytrotter
“A youthful, open-eared quartet enlivened with a kick-ass record collection, ceiling-less imagination, ragged guitars, and songwriting chops for days.” – Spin
It’s just about summer, so it goes without saying that you’ll be pulling out Pomegranates‘ sublimely beautiful Everybody, Come Outside! (Right? Right!). At least that’s what we’ll be doing — that album, an MOKB favorite in 2009, was shimmering, summery dream-pop at its finest, all inflatable grooves, thick, sweet melodies and juicy guitar. – My Old Kentucky Blog
“Beauty without grace is the hook without the bait,” Emerson once wrote. This scintillating band, at the wee age of four years old, has already achieved both. The third, decidedly un-trendy album by these four Cincinnati rockers is an exercise in fluidity and finds them swimming through a warm sea of contemplative heartache. Like Christopher Nolan, POMEGRANATES performs with a masterful ease, smoothly maneuvering from oversize spectacle to small-scale minimalism. It’ll reel you in with authority—and you’ll beg, “Please don’t let me go.” – Filter