Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Pod-Assassins in the Mirrored Hall

Black Iron Records

The Pod is a solo adventure (or project if you will) by Make guitarist Scott Endres. If you know about Make then you'll understand when I say that there has always been something about that band that I couldn't quite put my finger on. Make always felt to me like they stood somewhere between the light and the dark, tip toeing between both. It was almost as if there was this equal pull in their music, in the energy flow, that Make couldn't fight. It moved the band back and forth in all of these directions and the same could be said of  "Assassins in the Mirrored Hall". If you already know of (and appreciate) that contrast, and the overtly experimental nature of the Chapel Hill, N.C.act that is called Make, then you need read no further. The Pod should fit comfortably alongside your collection of Make material. Even though you don't have to like Make to like The Pod it's almost as if they are one in the same while being slightly different in their own "interesting" ways. The short of it is that just like how Make is an experimental band so is The Pod. It's both a continuation of Make and a vehicle in and off itself. While the all-encompassing "experimental music" tag would certainly apply to The Pod terms like ambient, noise, psychedelic and drone, along with "soundtrack recording", all pop up. These different creatures come out of the shadows and play in the moonlight. The Pod's music has a dreamy quality to it (or is it dreadful?) that makes you stop what you're doing and, as odd as it sounds, dares you to engage the music in serious discussion. This album is structure in a way as if it were meant to be the soundtrack to a movie that doesn't exist. How else do I describe the true nature of this project? How about another example. If you live in the Northern States you'll understand what I mean by this next statement. As you look out your window at the snow piling up it's with both a sense of despair and awe. For as much as the snow represents the cold, darkness of winter there is also something almost mesmerizing about all of this white snow that suddenly has been carved into what was once this beautiful background. You might be fighting the urge to give into your seasonal depression, and failing miserably, and yet there is a blissful peace to be found as the snow flakes swirl about and fall slowly to the ground. It's the balance of everything good and everything that is washed over in despair. That is The Pod. The music isn't really sorrowful or joyful. It's what the grey area looks like in between as translated into musical expression. The Pod requires that openness and honesty be your guide as you take that first step into this new world. If you have that on your side you'll find an adventure of your own.

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