Chapel Hill, NC Polvo are considered to be one of the key bands in so-called “math rock” genre, even though the band themselves rejected this label in interviews. Their name comes from Spanish word for “dust” (and it also means “sex” in Spanish slang).
The initial line-up consisted of Ash Bowie, Dave Brilawski, Steve Popson and Eddie Watkins. Their debut was 1990 7″ single Can I Ride and it came out on band’s own label Kitchen Puff Recordings (it was later re-released as CD). A whole number of records followed – 1992 “Cor-Crane Secret” (Merge), Today’s Active Lifestyles (Merge, 1993) and 1994 “Celebrate The New Dark Age” EP (also on Merge).
After 1995 full-length “This Eclipse”, the band parted ways with Merge and released two albums for Chicago label Touch & Go – 1996 “Exploded Drawing” and 1997 “Shapes”, which became their final studio album. Polvo did a farewell tour in support of “Shapes” in 1997 and split up next year due to band members commitments.
Following the break-up, Ash Bowie released a solo album entitled “Yesterday’s…And Tomorrow’s Shells” on Tiger Style label under the name Libraness. He also recorded with BQ and Fan Modine. Brilawski played with Idyll Swords and is also a member of Black Taj, along with Steve Popson. Watkins is a member of Dr. Powerful.
Polvo recently reunited and added drummer Brian Quast (ex-Cherry Valence) to the line-up. They were invited to play at a number of music festivals, including All Tomorrow’s Parties and Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona, Spain. They also indicated that a new album might be on the way.
Update: In September of 2009. Merge release the band’s new full-length – “In Prism”, their first album since 1997 “Shapes”.
Dave Brilawski (Idyll Swords, Black Taj)
Eddie Watkins (Dr. Powerful)
Brian Quast (Cherry Valence)
Can I Ride 2×7″ (Kitchen Puff, 1990 / Jesus Christ, 1995 (as “Polvo”))
Vibracobra 7″ (Rockville, 1991)
Cor-Crane Secret LP / CD (Touch And Go, 1992 / Merge, 1992)
El Cid 7″ (With Erectus Monotone) (Merge, 1992)
Tilebreaker 7″ (Merge, 1993)
Today’s Active Lifestyles LP / CD (Touch And Go, 1993 / Merge, 1993)
Celebrate The New Dark Age CD / 3×7″ (Touch And Go, 1994 / Merge, 1994)
…And Then I’m Gone (split with New Radiant Storm King) 7″ (Penny Farthing, 1995)
This Eclipse CD-EP (Touch And Go, 1995 / Merge, 1995)
Exploded Drawing 2xLP / CD (Touch And Go, 1996)
Shapes LP / CD (Touch And Go, 1997)
“Mexican Radio” on Freedom Of Choice (City Slang, 1992)
“Tilebreaker” on Altered States Of America (Lime Lizard, 1993)
“Watch The Nail” on 5 Rows Of Teeth (Merge, 1994)
“Colonial Arms” on The Pop Narcotic Compilation (Pop Narcotic, 1994)
“Can I Ride” on Half-Cocked (Matador, 1995)
“Thermal Treasure” on Lo-Fi – Electric Acoustic & Radical (Meldac Corporation, 1995)
“Rock Post Rock” on Nineteen Ninety Seven Sampler (Touch & Go, 1997)
“Reverse Migraine” on Reach The Rock Soundtrack (Hefty, 1998)