Thursday, 15 March 2018

Oliver!: Polvo - The Drill (10 April 1992)

I’m delighted to be able to blog about the brilliant North Carolina band, Polvo.  Not least because it allows me to pay public tribute to YouTube uploader Vibracobra23, who has provided this blog with plenty of material from Peel sessions to write about.  I’d always been fascinated by that username - Vibracobra - a name that sounded simultaneously dangerous and poetic.  And yet imagine my surprise when I discovered that it was the title of a Polvo A-side.  However, on this show, Peel plumped for the B-side, The Drill and I think his instinct was absolutely spot on.  For while Vibracobra would have been a toss-up inclusion, The Drill drips with raw excitement all the way through.
Admittedly, it doesn’t sound at the start like it’s going to be any great shakes when it opens with what sounds like an off-key attempt to replicate the main riff of The Lemon Pipers 1968 hit, Green Tambourine.  But once it starts chocking its main riff out over the underlying running chainsaw-like background, it becomes a more thrilling proposition altogether.  I love the clash running throughout the track - it sounds like two completely different songs working in opposition to one another, but it works and Polvo would demonstrate their mastery of syncopation within noise over and over again in their subsequent releases.
Lyrically, the track is harder to pin down.  I find myself veering between attempts to try and revitalise  a dying relationship - “I’ll try to keep the conversation alive” etc and in this setting, the drill refers to something done regularly (monotously?) - or the song could be about hanging out with a disturbed individual - “Even though, I know you’re not sane” etc.  In this instance, the drill becomes something far more dangerous.  All suggestions and clarifications are welcome.

Video courtesy of montrealrec 1

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