This is Pop!

Popular music (as opposed to classical music) has been around for eons. Well, in its modern incarnation since the 1950s in any case with the arrival of rock n’ roll. And I am pretty much satisfied with that concept. Sure, we can talk about some superficial difference between pop, rock, country, folk, soul and so on but what’s the point?

Seriously, all I am interested in is the music – in whatever form it may come in. I am more concerned with the mind, body, heart and soul that went into the creation of music than it’s the skin it happens to be wrapped in. It’s the same way I ‘judge’ people as well so why should something as important as music be treated any differently.

So why should the foregoing be relevant in a review of 2012, the third album of World Blanket? Sure I could have spent the last two paragraphs trying my level music journo best to define World Blanket’s music in terms of ‘genres’ but that really does not do justice to its (or any other artists’) creativity and ability, does it?

Sure, World Blanket is essential a ‘power trio’ in that it has a guitar, bass, drums aggregation (played by Mike Pomranz, Dean Moore and Jonathan Flax respectively). However, in addition, Katherine Fong also plays violins to provide a distinctive lush flavour to Pomranz’s pop tunes.

Clocking at over 43 minutes, 2012 is a rather long in duration for an album containing only 7 songs – with two tracks actually clocking in at 14 and 8 minutes accordingly without ever overstaying their welcomes. Channeling various aspects of influences that suggest the likes of The Beatles, The Velvet Underground, XTC, Edwyn Collins, Belle & Sebastian and many more.

Pomranz’s acoustic guitar meshes well with Fong’s violins and this combination provides much of the impetus for the songs’ distinctive sounds, in particular “The Greatest Trainwreck” and “And Here We Are (Again Maybe)” where the lush ambience counterpoints the driving percussive forces perfectly. Songs like “The Blues…” (which sounds exactly as you probably imagine it to be), the chamber pop referencing “… Snooze Bar” and the darkly quixotic “2012 (Side B)” offer a clear sight of World Blanket‘s lofty songwriting ambit.

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