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Polvo: "Heavy Detour" b/w "Anchoress"

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There's a part of me that gets irked every time a reunited band refuses to write new material and tours purely on its back catalog (see: Pixies, Archers of Loaf). It just seems lazy, right? So it's pretty cool that Polvo, like fellow Merge rockers Superchunk, refuses to rest on its laurels, having released a solid comeback LP in 2009 with In Prism. Now in advance of another full-length comes a spankin' new 7-inch single. "Heavy Detour" is a natural, if unremarkable, continuation of the direction Polvo took with In Prism, eschewing the ferocity of its early '90s work in favor of a more deliberate, semi-proggy approach. It's the B-side, "Anchoress," that really cooks; a minor-key dirge that nonetheless evokes sunlit nostalgia. Legendary producer Mitch Easter paints a bassy warmth onto the band's once-machinelike sound, an intriguing development that has me wanting more. If only all reunions were so rewarding. (3 out of 5 stars)

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