mon 23/04/2018

CD: Pumarosa - The Witch | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Pumarosa - The Witch

CD: Pumarosa - The Witch

London outfit's debut has the potential for major pop-rock crossover

A good noise but iffy Pictionary partners

That Pumarosa’s single “Cecile”, a Breeders-channelling monster, is not on their debut album says everything about their confidence. The 10 songs on The Witch have the heft of rock music, but also a more-ish femininity, both in the vocal department and the elasticity of their construction. They have a looseness, even an electro-pop funk on occasion, that’ll have student discos jigging to the likes of “Honey” or the seven-and-a-half-minute throbber “Priestess” (with its chorus of “You dance, you dance, you dance”).

Universal subsidiary Fiction is generally home to indie-style bands that are going to go large, the ones who dream of one day using string sections and playing US stadiums, all the while “keeping it real” by wearing hoodies and jeans. Snow Patrol were the blueprint band when the label relaunched a decade-and-a-bit ago and, since then, Fiction have had success with groups such as Tame Impala, The Maccabees and Athlete. Pumerosa are a perfect fit. The pairing should soar. They sound original enough to have what’s left of the music press slavering, yet their songs are also approachable, tuneful and lathered in gigantic production by Hot Chip/Bat For Lashes studio whizz Dan Carey.

At the heart of the band is theatrically astute frontwoman Isabel Munoz-Newsome, whose vocals swoop into terrain somewhere between Björk, Siouxsie Sioux and Florence Welch. Indeed, the latter is a good starting point for comparison, but Pumerosa’s music is less mannered. The lyrics throughout are opaque, ripe for interpretation, but delivered with suitable passion. “They keep falling in love with you/Angels and Philistines/Falling in love, it’s true/Prophets and punks/Getting High” runs the opening to the well-crafted Pixies-meet-U2 “My Gruesome Loving Friend”.

Having followed their career thus far, I'd hoped Pumerosa’s debut might be edgier, more envelope-pushing, which was, perhaps, unfair. Instead, from the catchy, bass-riding alt-rock of opener “Dragonfly” to the closing “Snake“, wherein “Baba O’Riley” keys groove off into a head-nodding psyche-jam, The Witch sounds like a big, prudently adventurous breakthrough release.

Overleaf: Watch the video for "Dragonfly" by Pumerosa

They have a looseness, even an electro-pop funk on occasion, that’ll have student discos jigging


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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