"Mind/Body Problem"

(Omega Point Records 2002)Pomes - Mind/Body Problem

Indie guitar rock seems to be the growing, and trendy, scene these days. But when with the growth of a scene, it is easy to sound just like everybody else and let the label define you instead of defining the label. The Pomes effortlessly define themselves and create a sound of twangy guitars, country violins, and electronic rhythms which rebels from any particular label.

"Unaware," the opening track on The Pomes' debut EP "Mind/Body Problem," is an excellent example of what to expect from them. Although, in comparison to later tracks, "Unaware" is slightly fast, the sound introduces the listener to the mix of indie/garage rock, country and electronica. A ballad of sorts, "Now" has a laid back style thanks to the sustained and simple violin parts. The Pomes' continue their almost-garage-guitar-rock-but-not-exactly sound on "Pine Box." "If my apologies aren't through/I'll smile like all blood traders do/Psychiatrists say I'm drawn to risk/I think I'm just a fool," Cummins sings on "Pine Box," a stand-out on the EP. While "Mind/Body Problem" does use obvious programming, "The Pretty Girls Go" has the most obvious electronic beats, similar to Omega Point label-mates The Mystechs. But whereas The Mystechs create an entire album with that electronic sound, The Pomes never really pull that idea to the front, except for on "The Pretty Girls Go." And while the track is nice, it is a bit odd and maybe depends on the programming too much.

According to the band's biography the fifth track, "Carmela," "deals with the atrocities of Guatemala's civil war." We will take their word on that. But the repetitive "Carmela" has a nice, almost fragile, sound as Cummins sings: "And this talk of freedom set to words your tears beguile/The terror's mine to calm." The final song, the speeding "Hidden Track," makes you think of electronic meeting garage rock and then throwing in a, barely audible, guitar solo (this must explain the "insane guitar" credit in the linear notes).

The Pomes' debut EP is a likable and unique melting pot of various influences and sounds. Even if just for the interesting blending of indie guitar rock with country-style violins and electronic beats, the EP is worth a listen. And while "Mind/Body Problem" could have too much of a country sound to have a mass appeal, it could easily catch on with those scenesters and guitar and indie rock fans.