Review

Pengo - a nervous splendor

Skyscraper

The neo-folk and outsider weirdness genres have certainly collided head on, and the attention of critics and fans has been growing phenomenally. While groups like Sunburned Hand of the Man and Six Organs of Admittance garner the most praise (although completely deserved), smaller acts like Pengo help fill out the modern genre with output worthy of such notoriety. A Nervous Spendor starts off with a front porch-styled banjo and cymbal duet, with a speech of Christian rebirth clearly stating that Pengo is to be taken as a holy experience, not a silent head-bobbing affair. Strings slowly drone like waves on a beach, as if Vibracathedral Orchestra were stripped of their possessions and sent to a Midwestern American farm. It's not until the second side, however, that Pengo truly blows the hay off the stack. Electronics and deep bellows knock the wind from your lungs and into your stomach. Slowly, the vague outline of a ship clears through the fog, providing enough time to realize that this harbor is doomed. Pengo provide a small masterpiece with A Nervous Splendor, hopefully far from their end as a cohesive group.



Other Reviews of a nervous splendor

  • a nervous splendor

    Skyscraper

    by Matt Kosloff

    a nervous splendor

    The neo-folk and outsider weirdness genres have certainly collided head on, and the attention of critics and fans has been growing phenomenally. While groups like Sunburned Hand of the Man and Six Organs of Admittance garner the most praise (although...
  • a nervous splendor

    Blastitude

    a nervous splendor

    For all the rave this rec was getting, I thought it started on a slightly dubious note, with what is officially the 1,014th combination of post-Siltbreeze "atmosphere" and post-Fahey "roots music" on record, but it's really short and you quickly...
  • a nervous splendor

    Dusted

    by Nathan Hogan

    a nervous splendor

    Apocalypse Now: Luxe & Reduxe Pengo are a dark-bright beacon of madness in the subterranean swamp of psychedelic junk collectors and crummy mystics scavenging the wreckage of our ongoing cultural meltdown. The web of like-minded misfits stretches to Brooklyn, to...
  • a nervous splendor

    Fake Jazz

    by Adam Strohm

    a nervous splendor

    Pengo, a trio from Rochester, NY, have been in existence since 1998, but A Nervous Splendor is only their second full-length release. Issued as the premiere offering of Hahoma Records, a label run by Jason Finkbeiner and John Schoen, 2/3 of Pengo,...
  • a nervous splendor

    Arthur

    by Byron Coley

    a nervous splendor

    Pengo are from upstate New York, and for some reason we usually think of them as being associated with a somewhat brutal form of post-industrial freeform noise-hunch and/or bass-heavy ass-rumblage. And yeah, they still do that, but on this...
  • a nervous splendor

    The Wire

    by Edwin Pouncey

    a nervous splendor

    Dressed in a cover resembling those of the 60s French free jazz/experimental label BYG/Actuel, the second LP (and the debut release from their own Haoma Recordings imprint) from Rochester, New York based bohemian trio Pengo is a set...
  • a nervous splendor

    City Newspaper

    by Dave Cross

    a nervous splendor

    A Nervous Splendor opens with a prayer bell; a call to the heavens that will remain unanswered. For this outing, Pengo's vinyl debut, the Rochester trio's lingua franca seems to be a combination of any or all of the following:...
  • a nervous splendor

    Broken Face

    by Mats Gustafsson

    a nervous splendor

    Pengo is a Rochester, NY trio that consists of John Schoen, Jason Finkbeiner and Joe Tunis, who all should be familiar names by now. If it doesn't ring any bells you have lots of catching up to do and might...