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Album review: Pottery – Welcome To Bobby’s Motel

PUBLISHED: 10:04 23 June 2020 | UPDATED: 15:45 24 June 2020

The album Welcome to Bobby's Motel

The album Welcome to Bobby's Motel

Archant

Frenetic, full-on and danceable new wave debut from Canada’s best new band

Right.... The band Pottery. We can't tell you the colour of their eyes, even if we wanted to Picture: Luke OrlandoRight.... The band Pottery. We can't tell you the colour of their eyes, even if we wanted to Picture: Luke Orlando

The debut long-player from this Montreal five-piece, originally slated for an April release, follows their acclaimed EP No. 1 last year, which earned them support slots on the road with Parquet Courts, Fontaines DC and Thee Oh Sees.

The Idles labelmates were due to rock The Dome in Tufnell Park a fortnight ago, but by the time this all-guns-blazing outfit returns to the road they may find they’ve outgrown it, such is the success of singles Hot Heater and Texas Drums Pt. I & II.

The latter, a six-minute mash of heavy groove and anthemic shouting, is typical of the band’s rabble-rousing approach. Wiry guitar riffs, nimble funky basslines, fizzy synths and piano motifs all hang off a chassis of popping percussion that drives headlong into the dancefloor, before descending into three minutes of jubilant freak-rock and spiralling guitar grooves.

Their sound is an infectious and relatively novel mix, taking elements of art rock, post-punk and new wave and injecting danceable funk guitar, simmering percussion and a rowdy sense of fun.

Right.... The band Pottery. We can't tell you the colour of their eyes, even if we wanted to Picture: Luke OrlandoRight.... The band Pottery. We can't tell you the colour of their eyes, even if we wanted to Picture: Luke Orlando

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Under The Wires’ brusque, choppy post-punk guitar is offset by drops of candy-sweet synths and taut bass, while Bobby’s Forecast starts and ends as a slab of sleek disco-funk dragged into the world of weird by shamanic vocals and a psych-tinged middle section.

It’s fair to say Pottery keep listeners on their toes with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of rhythm and groove, whether it’s the thundering drums of Down In The Dumps or the sense of unease conjured by skittering cymbals, pulsing synths and counterintuitive lyrics in Take Your Time.

Given the band’s musical dexterity, recent single Hot Heater is a rowdier, more lumpen offering, the deft guitar and drum work stomped over by burly vocal chants – but that’s not to undermine its compelling appeal.

The album Welcome to Bobby's MotelThe album Welcome to Bobby's Motel

Reflection offers a welcome mid-album breather, the drop in pace matched only by mellifluous set closer Hot Like Jungle, which unfurls in a pool of warming synths and singer Austin Boylan’s wailing croon.

These exceptions aside, Pottery have set out their stall at the crossroads of post-punk, new wave and arch, funky disco. At times it may lean toward the musical equivalent of police kettling, with everything thrown into your ears at once, but there’s no denying the musicianship on show.

3/5 stars


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