by Jeremy Zerbe
Last year, Failure returned to music with their first studio album since 1996's Fantastic Planet. And whether The Heart is a Monster left you feeling reenergized or disappointed (I fell mostly into the former camp), it highlighted a need for thunderingly heavy melodic music in today's indie rock landscape amongst the garage rock, shoegaze and grunge revivalists all gnawing on the same bones.
Enter Washington D.C.'s Polyon. Late in 2015, the trio released their second EP, Blue, and across the album's four songs, give Ken Andrews fans a reason to rejoice all over again. From the very first note of the album's opening track "Reserve"--a shimmering, transcendent guitar line over a wall of layered fuzz--the band launches into the world's most convincing Andrews impersonation, recalling the triumphant opening strains of Year of the Rabbit's "Lie Down". But where Andrews pulls back to ruminate on his feelings in true 90s alt-rock fashion, Polyon launch themselves into outer space, with massive, delay-soaked vocals and sweeping, phased guitar feedback, only to rocket back to the earth and smash into the ground at light speed at just over a minute in.
Though they have arguably more in common with melodic post-hardcore bands like Pale Angels or Cave In than they do with Hawkwind or White Hills, it's difficult to talk about Polyon's music without lapsing into the kind of language used to describe the star-scraping riffs and psychedelia typically associated with the lauded purveyors of space rock, simply because of the scope and atmosphere of their sound. This is a truly massive band. Even when they quiet down on "Ought" and channel a bit of (if I may be so bold to suggest it) Brand New's Deja Entendu, they're still crackling with energy, shivering with static charge, just waiting to unleash it.
With two EPs now under their belt, I hope they'll be tackling a full-length in the near future because there is so much more potential bristling inside this band than can be expressed in these brief snippets they've given us so far. It's kind of cheesy to say "this is a band to watch" but Polyon really is. Follow them on Twitter or something.