****Review of The Pottsville Conglomerate from Stephen Carradini at independentclauses.com
"...This is an intricately crafted album of thoughtful, powerful, highly orchestrated indie music that runs the gamut from Seven Swans whisperfolk (“Fool,” “Hymnal”) to frantic freakouts of drum-pounding, throat-shredding rock (“Behemoth,” “Let Every Evil Lung Fill”). The sections often happen in the same track, even back-to-back. The rest of the sections are filled in with piano-pop, carnival-esque melodies, acoustic guitar tunes, and more. This isn’t 95 minutes of space: this is a jam-packed extravaganza.
It is brilliant.
Pete Davis’ vision for the album is incredible; throughout the 95 minutes, the songs rarely drag. There are high points and low points, as with any album, but that’s a serious accomplishment for an album of this length, breadth and scope. Much of this can be laid at the doorstep of Davis’ acrobatic, magnetic vocals. He frequently multitracks himself into chorales, making good vocals even better.
Besides the aforementioned tracks, the romantic “A Bathhouse for Bloodhounds,” delicate opener “There Is An Ocean,” the folksy ditty “As Far as the Rails Go” and dramatic closer “Chrysopoeia” stick out for special mention. As there are 16 tracks here, I still haven’t mentioned half of the album, but you’ll have to figure those out yourself... "
Pottsville conglomerate is the name of a rock formation in the coal-mining town of Pottsville, Pennsylvania. The album is a story of family ties, social pariahs, kidnapping, faith, and misguided attempts to derive happiness from what hurts us.
This album has taken about 5 years to write. The first song for the album was actually written some time in 2005 (though it wasn't recorded until two years later), and the last song was written in February of 2011. 5 years, however, is misleading; I have been working on my other project Invalids (invalids.bandcamp.com
) for a lot of time since 2009, and I was balancing going to college for chemistry with heading up to my mom's house an hour away (where all my equipment was stored) to lay down whatever tracks I could schedule in the short periods of time that the house was empty. When I moved to California in 2009 and later to Oregon at the end of the year, I left all my gear behind me in New Jersey. It wasn't until December of 2010 that I reclaimed as much as I could, finally giving me a means to finish the record 5 years after it began. I also wrote and recorded the Grace EP (petedavis.bandcamp.com/album/grace-ep-old
) in 2007, between starting and finishing this album.
This was written and recorded in my college dorm room, the basement of my old house, the spare bedroom at my mom's house, and the office of my apartment. I wrote, performed, recorded, mixed, and mastered everything on this record (save for the stomps and claps, for which I enlisted the help of some guys in California).
This album has been significantly remixed and remastered since the last time any versions of any of the songs have been shared, so if you have any previous versions already, trash them and get the new ones.
Thanks for listening.
released 05 July 2011
Cover art by Mic Makalinao