If you happened to see our top 20 albums from 2008 list, it's no secret that we're loving the music that's coming out of Portland, Oregon, as 4 bands from the area placed on the list, with three making the top 10. While there is a good majority of folk based bands gaining popularity in Portland, Point Juncture Wa's new disc, Heart To Elk is on a different plain altogether. Though the band has been tagged as indie rock, don't let that fool you, as the album is far more diverse when giving it a full listen. I gotta say that it's an album that made a big impression on it's first listen, but with each one thereafter, after all the layers unfolded and were absorbed, it stuck with me even more.
The band isn't afraid to experiment and it shows, as the disc has moments of explosiveness, joyous pop, quiet pastoral melancholy, and lo-fi 90's rock, with a wide array of arrangements and instrumentation. There's a lot of can't miss moments on 'Heart to Elk', but there are a few tracks that push it over the top. On numerous tracks throughout the LP, Victor Nash (keyboards, vocals) & Amanda Spring (vocals, drums) swap vocal duties with the disc not skipping a beat, as both bring something uniquelly different to each track being tackled. A perfect example is on, "New Machine" which has lush harmonies and a playfull vibe between the pair. Other standout moments on the disc include, "Sioux Arrow" which has a slow, steady never ending tension, that despite a few moments of bursting out, still manages to show uncanny restraint. "Biathalon" feels like Sonic Youth at it's best, while tracks like, "Sick on Sugar," "Melon Bird," and "Fleet and Small" show the group's varying degrees of melodic understanding.
'Heart to Elk' which has actually been out since late '08, and just received it's re-release after getting picked up by Mt. Fuji Records. Check it out online or at a store near you.
Point Juncture, Wa on myspace.