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The best kept secret in music


"Local Anesthetic on XRT Chicago"

Selected as a Capsule by Richard Milne on Chicago's 93.1 WXRT in June 2006 - Richard Milne

"Pontius "Foul Weather Clothes" [Mission]"

Chicago-based Pontius has released its debut record; a collection of diverse and well crafted guitar-based rock songs. We really love this record. The band plays a style that doesn't fit neatly into any one category, blending pop, alt rock and art rock elements to create their own interesting style.


Q: What was the overall tone you were going for on this record?

Phil - I manned the controls in recording and mixing Foul Weather Clothes, so the guys asked me to answer this question… I think we just wanted to make a record we’d enjoy listening to. A rock record that you’ve never heard, yet has a hint of familiarity. A few years ago, I was wishing for a new record or band to come out that would get me really excited, but nothing was really filling the void at the time… well maybe Lost Souls by Doves. But, lucky for me I was able to reunite with Ethan. He started playing these songs that had addictive hooks yet didn’t sound like manufactured college rock. It was exactly what I was waiting for. Ethan’s songs have a sound all there own, yet give subtle nods to influences like The Shins, Beck, Tom Waits, Radiohead, Pinkerton-era Weezer, Zep and others. Burm, Mike and I will certainly have an increased ownership stake in writing our upcoming EP’s slated for this Fall and Spring, but Ethan was the center of this record while the rest of us helped get it out of the living room.

Q: Were you inspired by anything specific while you were making this record?

Ethan - The songs on this record were written over about a three year span. I grew up near Chicago, but moved to St. Paul, Minnesota for four years, where I played in a band with Phil (guitarist). I moved back to Chicago alone, and it felt like I was in a familiar environment that simultaneously seemed new and foreign. I wrote most of the lyrics and melodies in my apartment, not really sure when they would be reworked with a full band. Lyrically, most of these songs were inspired by this period of deciding what things to let go from my life of the previous years. There’s some triumphant eagerness about new people and watering holes, some bidding reluctant farewell or good riddance to the past, and a couple none-of-the-above, miscellaneous thoughts.

Q: Did you record the record after signing with Mission? If so, did the label have a vision of what they wanted this record to be?

Ethan - We were pretty much finished with recording and mixing before we became associated with Mission. We didn’t really “sign” with Mission. It was more of a friendly agreement for distribution and support following the release. It’s been great having Mission behind us (thanks goes out to Nick Wright), and they’re comfortable putting the Mission label name on this record. We’ve been talking about our upcoming EP’s so I think Nick and Mission are looking ahead and recognizing the potential for some exciting things. But this record is strictly our product and we’re happy having taken the time to record it in the comfort of Phil’s studio. We had it mastered by Carl Saff and then had it printed and pressed all out of our own pockets. In one sense, it’s been really nice paying for everything ourselves, because there’s really no one to answer to. On the other hand, it’s damn expensive.

Q: What was the most challenging part of this project?

Ethan - Day jobs. We all really have a passion for this band and are determined to get everything out of it that we possibly can, but there are these persistent alarm clocks reminding us every day that we have to pay the rent and be able to buy new strings and drum heads.

- IndiePulse

"PONTIUS in Theme Park Experience Blog"

With the brief explosion of ska-punk in the '90s with bands like Rancid, Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake and Goldfinger, I heard plenty of chicka-chicka guitar upstrokes and half-time drumbeats to last me a long time. While I really ate that stuff up at the time, I can only really stand to listen to a few songs at a time these days. What's interesting is that reggae stylings were found in a lot of punk rock at that time, but hardly ever in indie rock. As a matter of fact, I had never really heard them in indie rock until I received a record by a band that Nick helped put out a few months ago.

The band is called Pontius and they are from Chicago. Listening to their new record, Foul Weather Clothes, I hear a lot of traditional indie rock with a pretty successful infusion of reggae in a number of their songs. Rather than sounding like a band with diverging directions, these guys have put together some impressive sounds and feels. Sure, there are points that may make the flip-flops and dirty shirts crowd raise a beer and bop their heads, but this record doesn't sound tailored for them. This is more indie rock at its core than Exodus regurgitated.

Read the rest of the blog here:
http://themeparkexperience.blogspot.com/2006/07/foul-weather-clothes.html - Theme Park Experience: Eric Grubbs


Foul Weather Clothes


Feeling a bit camera shy


With the release of its debut album Foul Weather Clothes, the Chicago-based band PONTIUS proves that breaking away from the conventions of genre doesn't necessarily make your sound inaccessible or esoteric. By crafting a diverse collection of songs injected with a cross sample of pop melody, thick sonic textures, and some monster riffs, PONTIUS proves to be at home in any musical arrangement. As the title suggests, Foul Weather Clothes finds the band exploring the metaphorical bad weather on the horizon. With shape-shifting guitar play, elastic bass grooves, and penetrating, intricate drum beats as the basic sonic template, the album meshes together anthemic ballads and pensive art-rock songs tackling everything from the culture of fear on “King on the River” to the carnivorous mentality of contemporary women in “Clybourn”. The songwriting, the musicianship, and delivery lead listeners to an inevitable conclusion —Foul Weather Clothes is a large stepping stone for a band only starting to realize its potential.