Pomegranates are one of the oldest fruits on earth, and also one of the most unique. Appealing from the outside, they harbor an intricate inner fruit structure—small, jewel-like seeds that glisten like so many quartz crystals inside a geode. Where it may grow outwardly like many other fruits, the pomegranate’s peculiar inner structure develops in secret, until the day the fruits of its growth are opened to the eyes of the world.
Pomegranates are a band from Cincinnati that began as a fun project between two friends, Jacob Merritt and Isaac Karns, eventually growing into a four-piece with Joey Cook and, most recently, Dan Lyon. Over a span of two years, the band released two albums, 2008’s Everything Is Alive and 2009’s TJ Lipple-produced Everybody, Come Outside!, both of which drew the immediate attention of independent radio stations like KEXP, WOXY, and KCRW, and critical praise from the likes of Spin magazine for the band’s very sudden and prodigious growth in sound.
What is that sound? If the world could lean in and hear the sound of a pomegranate slowly opening up to the world, this is probably something close to what it would sound like. On songs like “Beachcomber” and “Everybody, Come Outside!,” guitars and keyboards shimmer and shine, but never in the lazy, hazy ways of so many bands today.
Jacob Merritt’s propulsive drumming keeps a nimble pace; while Joey Cook’s clear tenor and Isaac Karn’s more forceful vocals bounce off of each other atop the mix. Time signatures leap in and out and jewelled tangents appear around every corner, but the songs always retain an upbeat and compact sentiment that belongs in the same sentence with The Beach Boys, Spoon, and French Kicks, the latter two with whom the band has already toured.
Having notched off those tours, as well as further legs with Islands and Blitzen Trapper, the band recorded their third LP, One of Us, with TJ Lipple at The Monastery in Cincinnati. Having cited inspirations like Spiritualized and Talking Heads for their work so far, the band’s new “psychedelic dream rock” album looks to push further down experimental roads, with descriptors like “textured,” “unusual,” and “challenging” entering the conversation.
Coincidentally, or perhaps not, such adjectives also describe that peculiar fruit called the pomegranate, which even now is difficult to find and grows rarely. When allowed to flourish, though, a pomegranate becomes a delicacy, its inner textures at once alien and familiar, and it is ultimately prized for its flavor. Where else can one find such a unique flavor? Listen to Pomegranates.
|Daytrotter Session 3
Free Digital EP
|One Of Us
Released 10.25.10iTunes / Afternoon Store
|Daytrotter Session 2
Free Digital EP
|Everybody Come Outside
CD / Digital
Released 4.14.09iTunes / Lujo Store
Released 1.15.09iTunes / Lujo Store
|Daytrotter Session 1
Free Digital EP
|Everything Is Alive
CD /LP/ Digital
Released 5.13.08iTunes / Lujo Store
|Two Eyes EP
Released 11.11.07iTunes / Lujo Store
Thunder Meadow from “Qualitity, Quantity, Luxury: 2008 Lujo Sampler” (lujo055) / Download
Whom/Who from “Everything Is Alive” (lujo059) / Download
Thunder Meadow from “Everything Is Alive” (lujo059) / Download
We Could’ve Escaped, But No One Was Interested from “Two Eyes Ep (on itunes)” (lujo065) / Download
Corriander from “Corriander Single (itunes)” (lujo071) / Download
Corriander from “Everybody, Come Outside!” (lujo073) / Download
Everybody, Come Outside! from “Everybody, Come Outside!” (lujo073) / Download