sholi sholi
    • FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 2009

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    Kudos for contrast! The kind that dare not clash, battle, stomp on toes, or rush in to dispose of that which came before too quickly. We're for contrast that sits in the wings, waiting patiently for the precise moment to step in and mix things up in an oh so healthy kind of way. Which is why Bay Area band Sholi is such a pleasant discovery. It's variance of this sort that the pesky three piece get fat on over the course of their recently released, Quarterstick approved, debut album.

    Produced by Deerfhoof's Greg Saunier, the record offered here rapidly rocketeers between turbulent measure and a more melodic kind of order. The secret lies in drummer Jonathon Bafus. His scuttling, polyrhythmic tendencies often pay no mind to that which is happening around him. Take opener "All That We Can See", for example. It's his whirlybird style that greets listeners from the get go, whiplashing round the kit even while Payam Bavafa's sweet, rhythmic vocals threaten to establish structure.

    Sounds like a mess, I know. But there's something in the way this trio dip their quant pop tendencies in hemorrhaging bouts of free base percussion and growling guitar work that creates a natural, see sawing, back and forth. Not only that, but songs like "Contortionist" and "November Through June" sustain this cohesive contrast over long periods of time, navigating their way through impressive fits of improve/jam sessions along the way. Put simply, Sholi offer dense, complex, and progressive compositions...the kind that may inspire listeners to reach and revisit their favorite artists from the post-punk heyday of the early nineties. - David Pitz

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