PELOTON
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PELOTON

Houston, Texas, United States | SELF

Houston, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Punk

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"Seeing the Scene Through Mix-Matched Eyes"

Normally if you came up to me and said, "Hey Jef, how would you like to watch a music video from a local band you've never heard of shot from a single angle in a shitty garage interspersed with rapid images of everyday life like some first year film student just discovered amphetamines and decided to become a rock star?", I would break the sound barrier between my fist and your genitals. Who's got time for that lazy-ass waste of bandwidth?
Well, here come Peloton as the exception that proves the rule, because their video for "Kim Deal/Kim Gordon" is a brilliant as it is simple. When Bang Bangz shot their practice session it came off homemade and a little amateurish. When Denniz Polk takes up the camera he makes it look like the overture of a snuff film.

There's just something damned sinister about the setup that compliments the tune's harsh, Jurassic buzzing.
Complementing the ritualistic nature of the private performance is a host of images that swirl across the screen at lightning speed as if you're watching you life pass before your eyes. A host of city scenes, domestic settings, and nature footage edited to jump around like a fever dream give the otherwise static video a sense not only of movement, but of a frenzied goal towards which Peloton is rapidly sprinting with a drawn sword.

"The song is about how is about how fickle music scenes and a good amount of the people involved in them are," says Polk. "It's about taking a little bit of time away from the inside of it all and just watching from a safe view or new angle, so I tried to show that in a way that made sense to me. Which could also mean it may only make sense to me visually, but its how things looked to me.


The images all have a purpose," continues Polk. "I thought sunflowers swaying on a windy roadside was the perfect visual to represent a disillusioned punk-rock kid. The buildings are there to show the literal tracking of my steps across the seamless contrast of the two worlds between which anyone in a band bounces back and forth.
"The grainy black-and-white footage of people dancing and whatnot are from old films my dad made when I was four or five and short films I made as a teen," he goes on. "I've always had an unhealthy obsession with the past and memories. I made this video really feel like most of my days look from my point of view and compressed into a few minutes."

Again, normally I would sneer at another band condemning the music scene and claiming a more sincere existence before making with the aforementioned punching of the dick, but Peloton does have a bit more honesty than other acts.

Unlike a lot of bands, there are no "token" folks in Peloton. Melissa Ryan is hardly the "chick: in the band." In fact, rather than glamorized it's hard to even tell if she's female from the majority of the shots, and she lets her bass playing do the talking.

Nor is anyone just lying around to pull in the hipster crowd, or the metal crowd, or the industrial crowd. Peloton's music is genuine, without any real taint of crony appeal. It's a collage of styles that ensures a specific identity without the burden of generalizing it.

As you can guess from the byline, any reference to Kim Deal of the Pixies is going to win you favor with this particular writer, and Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon is no slouch either. Both women represent a type of rock star that remains elusive, that of the rock-solid genius who can't really be hollowed out to fit mainstream appeal.
"These two women have been major idols of mine since I was twelve years old and I can honestly say there has not ever been a time I thought of them as old, lame or irrelevant," says Polk. "I can't think of too many of my other ageing heroes I could honestly say have stayed completely cool in my eyes. Springsteen is one of my favorite songwriters of all time, but in 2012 I see him more as maybe the uncle you can cuss in front of, but not exactly 'cool.'"

"Kim Deal/Kim Gordon" is a rarity among music videos in that it manages to create a whole lot out of pretty much nothing at all. For some reason, what I would normally decry as lazy and a lack of storytelling ability perfectly captures Polk's frustration with the music scene.

While I'm not sure I share his sentiments about it being rife with jaded addicts who can't be trusted, I've been a part of it myself for too long to out and out denounce him.

Instead, I'll hold his cinemaudio work up as an example of how he is wrong. As long as the city is producing genius pieces of music-video art like the one he has directed, I will know that the scene is viable, even healthy.

Ironically, Polk's own words prove he's full of it. Still, there's something hauntingly familiar about the opening line, "My community has become immune to me." It cuts a little too close to the place I store memories of bad gigs. Check out the video below. - HoustonPress


"Peloton, Peloton"

I first took a listen to three-man instro-sludge-metal outfit Peloton’s self-titled debut EP on a whim, really, just curious to see what they sounded like. I’d missed seeing them a while back, and they’d come highly recommended by Brandon Lemons of Co-Pilot, so I braved the R. Crumb-like cover art of a pair of lungs smoking while riding a bike and gave it a shot. And yeah, now I’m pretty damn happy I did.

In terms of release packaging, the Peloton gang (which, for this release, includes guitarist Halston Luna, drummer Zach Keener, and a bassist only credited as “Chris”) definitely took the easy route. As far as I can tell, the EP’s only available in free-to-all electronic format, and they didn’t even really title any of the songs, just calling ‘em “I,” “II,” “III,” and “IV” (yeah, I’ll let you guess what order those go in). But hey, it’s an EP I got for free, so what the hell do I have to complain about?

After listening, what’s evident is that instead of worrying about how to package the thing, the band spent their time more focused on making the actual music badass. The highlight for me is the first track (“I”; duh), which starts off almost on a countryish note quickly slams headfirst into a heavy, low-end, just-distorted-enough backwoods stomp that calls to mind the best parts of Federation X. Oh, and it’s freaking awesome.

There’s a nice stoner-metal thing going on, but the guitars have a sharper, more dangerous edge to ‘em than that, more closely akin to the out-and-out menace of local cohorts like Omotai or Defending the Kingdom than, say, Nebula. I’m loving the melodic break bit in the middle, too; the fuzzed-out, beautiful drone reminds me of Silversun Pickups in the best possible way.

“II” is much more straightforwardly “metal,” thundering and dangerous-sounding, and it’s decent but not mindblowing, unlike followup track “III,” which dives back towards the bluesy, boogie-tinged rawk. The song rides an honest-to-God groove, believe it or not, with the end result being a cool “No One Knows”-era Queens of the Stone Age vibe throughout.

Closer “IV” kind of bridges the gap between the band’s previous tracks, taking the all-out aggression of “II” and marrying to a murky, crunching, low-slung, almost Soundgarden-esque riff that bursts into ear-grabbing melody at surprising points. I think you probably need to hear Peloton with headphones on, by the way — that way, you can let the crackling, amps-on-fire distortion wrap itself warmly around your eardrums.

This EP’s definitely a picture of the band in their earliest stages, just three guys rocking out however the hell they feel like doing it, but for that it’s promising as all hell. I’m seriously excited to see/hear what they evolve into, especially with the addition of ex-Fight Pretty vocalist Denniz Trauma; laid-back and unassuming though they seem to be, I have a sneaking suspicion Peloton could make some truly massive noise.

- Spacecity Rock


"Dig This: Peloton, Coxcombs, Titan Blood, Papaya & Football, Etc."


Peloton

?Houston's got a plethora of musical acts, and whether yours is layered loops of Gregorian chant accompanied with a guitar run through six effects pedals or simply the next folkster in town, we think it deserves a chance to be heard. That's why we do all this sordid mining of the Internet, plunging through the depths of Facebook connections and even - gasp - the occasional MySpace page, searching out crop after crop of local music for your listening pleasure. Dig in.

Peloton: This post-hardcore outfit has some deadly stuff going on, what with the swirling vocals, sharp guitars, and some devastatingly heavy crunch. It's bombastic, anthemic, choppy, and possesses that inexplicable, intangible aspect that drives male concertgoers to jump headlong into a swarming mosh pit.

If any of this sounds remotely appealing, then you're bound to enjoy Peloton. They've got an early EP available for download on Bandcamp, and recently uploaded Twist Off Your Head, set to be released on 10" vinyl in December.


- Houston Press Rocks Off


Discography

Peloton - self-titled EP self-released March '11

Twist Off Your Head! - EP self-released February '12

An Unnatural Affection for Hornets - EP self-released November '12

Photos

Bio

PELOTON started as Halston Luna and Zach Keener playing shows together as an instrumental two-piece. They played epic, sludgy, classic rock by way of some cool 90s post-rock bands, ala HUM and SHELLAC.

Denniz Polk heard their demo and loved it.

Denniz had previously played with Halston in tour-hardened FIGHT PRETTY, and since that band was now defunct, Denniz had too much time on his hands and a notebook full of lyrics. Lyrics that came across as someone in a fever dream- someone sitting across from you at a party neither of you belong at, and feeding you tales of an underground scene riddled with hard drugs and soft lighting. He writes lyrics full of double entendres and vague truths. Something like tall tales that you somehow know are honest, except for instead of Paul Bunyan it’s a drug dealer and a few dozen relationships turned sour. A warning of ''stay away, this could happen to you.''

PELOTON played a few shows as a three-piece to great reaction before adding Melissa Ryan on bass. She plays bass like a bolt gun kills cattle: with accuracy, precision and brutality.

With this neck-breaking line-up, PELOTON has released a 10'' EP, TWIST OFF YOUR HEAD!, and they sound completely fresh on their upcoming release, AN UNNATURAL AFFECTION FOR HORNETS.

There is no way to describe PELOTON but to call it the audio equivalent of Dario Argento's gorgeously artistic kill scenes and a mix of their musical influences (Helmet, Hum, Swans, Shellac, The Birthday Party, etc.).

-slicelo