Album Review :
Pomegranates - Everybody, Come Outside!
- Everybody, Come Outside!
- This Land Used To Be My Land, But Now I Hate This Land
- Souther Ocean
- Sail (Away With Me)
- 384 BC
- Svaatzi Uutsi
- Jerusalem Had A Bad Day
- I Feel Like I’m A Million Years Old
Let’s make something unmistakably clear: pomegranates, when properly ripened, are delicious. This is fact, something like saying Florida winters aren’t all that cold and that 1990’s Nickelodeon had the best cartoons of all time. Statements that aren’t open to interpretation, meant to be said in a “take it or leave it” fashion.
That being said, and with black and white having been established, let’s face it: gray will appear. A gray area will always appear. This year, Florida’s winter is substantially colder than normal. It has snowed in my home state. Not a substantial amount, but enough to throw a curve ball at the idea that it isn’t supposed to snow in the same place where some 2 months from now, spring breakers will flock.
Likewise, pomegranates can be exceptional or just “meh”. The latter of these could be used to describe Pomegranates’ second full length Everybody, Come Outside!, released by indie stalwarts Lujo Records, home of exceptional bands like Cool Hand Luke and The Dark Romantics.
Let it be known that I really wanted to like this record more than I do. I want this to be a genre-defining album on a best of the decade list. Even after multiple listens, I still do. It’s fun, light, quirky, and airy. It reminds me of the best of surf rock, shoegaze and early 2000s indie/lo-fi blended in a frothy, expensive smoothie and wrapped in an environmentally-conscious bottle with a label that has encouraging phrases like “All Natural!” and the word ‘organic’ used multiple times. Joey Cook’s vocals are easy to like. Josh Kufeldt’s bass lines are catchy. Jacob Merritt’s percussion work is strong for the genre, working well with the bass to be dancy but not overpowering. Isaac Karns’ riffs are smooth and rich.
All that being said, listening to this record from beginning to end had me feeling like an integral piece was missing. This record sounds like it was doomed to be background music for a collegiate writing a paper on water conservation methods.
The title track, “Everybody, Come Outside!” kicks off the album with a hipster slap in the face. But much like the hipster, it won’t hit you. He will approach you after you’ve made a snide remark about his iPhone or girlfriend, but instead of a backhand, you’ll get a conversation and eventually, perhaps, a handshake. In so many words, it’s a bit of a letdown considering how many other indie artists are creating art pop that would knock your argyle socks off.
“Beachcomber” is another rollicking track that will make you feel like you’re a kid exploring the Atlantic or Pacific for the first summer in a few years instead of your family going to the same old tired lake.
The album closes with “I Feel Like I’m A Million Years Old”, which clocks in at about a million hours long, and accurately describes the state you will be in once the song ceases. It’s a track that, while slow (and passionate at times), could easily be mistaken as a cousin or other relative of a Sigur Ros song.
That it clearly is meant to be taken in as a whole record instead of as individual tracks is the main problem with this record. There are no discernible “singles” per se, nothing particularly catchy enough on its own for a casual listener to be able to sample and get a good feel for the rest of the album. The song most reminiscent of a single from ECO! would be “Corriander”. While still the catchiest song on the album, it meanders a good bit and forays a little too far into shoegaze for much of its 3:14 runtime.
Though quite dreamy and pleasing to listen to, there is nothing exceptionally grabbing about Everybody, Come Outside!. It never really sinks its proverbial hooks into you, begging for repeated spinnings of its 48 minutes. Much of the record feels like you’ve heard to it before somewhere else, maybe 6 years ago when you were really big into your local college’s indie radio show.
Overall: Pomegranates are clearly capable of making lively, entertaining, lovable tunes. Here’s to hoping they are able to ripen up to create something golden for their next record. Keep your eye on this band.
Stand-out tracks: “Corriander”, “Beachcomber”, “Everybody, Come Outside!”
RIYL: All the Day Holiday, Apples in Stereo, looking at your shoes, going to the beach, summertime, pomegranates (the fruit).