Art-rock has been revived and is enjoyed again. The jangly guitars, funk layered drums and futuristic rhythms came to define the sub-genre of the late ’70s and early ’80s that put concepts to the ideals of punk. The debut album from Montreal five-piece Pottery is in homage to the foundations of art-rock; with the tools at its disposal, it powers full steam ahead with discovering what Bobby’s Motel actually is.
The album follows their EP No 1 and brings to the fore a sound littered with art-rock influences, from Gang Of Four to Devo via early Talking Heads. Yet the band closest to their sound by far makes for a rather more recent comparison: Parquet Courts. Both bands use lots of percussion, making their sound high-tempo danceable. And with this sound the band have already gained a niche listenership.
This debut full-length release injects pace and adrenaline with its ultra percussive backbeat matched with slick and lazy riffs. The band invites us into this ‘motel’ where what goes on in this record stays on it, or rather is etched upon its walls. No more is this the case than in the album’s standout track, Texas Drums Pt I & II, seemingly a six-minute tribute to drums. The infectious beat of both drummer Paul Jacobs and the cowbell that runs throughout provides a strong impetus to dance. Composed as the title suggests of two halves, the song blends the stimulant percussive elements with an hypnotic interlude that adds in a lucid feel.
The most recent single Hot Heater is a raw wave of energy that again packs the punch of percussion and jangly riffs. It underlines that Pottery have made a record meant for a party that never stops. Bobby’s Motel is surely a place with more to it than meets the eye.