Most Anticipated of 2016: #10 Polyenso Break the Mold


Searching for purity

If you’ve been attuned to their Instagram or Facebook feeds, you know Polyenso have been teasing us with snippets of off-time drum beats and unusual guitar noises for the better part of a year. The experimental pop trio momentarily satiated die-hards with EP1, a collection of four singles, led by “17 New Years”, all expected to make the anticipated sophomore album Pure in Plastic.

Crafted with the pop sensibility and meticulous out-of-the-box tendencies of the late As Tall As Lions, debut One Big Particular Loop was an ambitious try at a unified sonic concept. However, that effort was missing a certain je ne sais quoi—easily expected from a band that not only tried to break the ubiquitous post-hardcore mold, but ostensibly abandoned it altogether.

The transformation is most satisfying knowing Brennan Toulbee, Denny Agosto, and Alex Schultz are brethren of the late aughts’ “screamo scene.” Numerous bands have quixotically feigned maturity with a more “indie” sound but inevitably failed to create distance from the pallid and tired Rise Records’ die. To prove they were serious about sonic exploration, the Florida trio did the most audacious, cutting the chord rather than dawdling in the morass of Youtube name-change controversy.

For all the harsh screams Brennan Taulbee belted on Oceana’s Birth.Eater none were as infectious or moving as his croons in the chorus of “Pocket Soul”. Off-kilter “((O.B.P.L” was proper introduction to the sheer volume of experimentation the group is capable of, as the 12 tracks that followed struck equipoise of jazz-influenced pop rock.

With sharper production and music that is tighter and more realized, EP1 is the logical progression from OBPL and illustrates that the forthcoming Pure in Plastic has all the potential to be the group’s opus.

by Kevin Sterne

kevin-sterne1Kevin Sterne is a writer and journalist with a passion for music, art and creative perspectives. He lives in Chicago and is earning an M.A. in Writing but mostly thinks the English cannon is for douches. The best concert he’s been to was Sufjan Stevens at Eaux Claires. Follow him on Twitter @kevinsterne or read more of his work here:


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