POLYDREAM – A Rigid Shard of Balance:1
(2006 The Whisper Media Group)
From the tiny, unlikely town of Medford, Wisconsin comes Polydream, a band with a larger-than-life sound and a worldwide vision. Polydream melds the sonic grandeur of U2 with sharp pop and rock sensibilities along the lines of Oasis to produce instantly memorable hooks and songs that are ripe for radio play. The band began as an acoustic duet with singers and guitarists Jon Knudson and Luke Etten who now plays bass. They added another hometown musician, drummer Zack Austin, before relocating to Madison in 2003. Here they met guitarist Eric LeMieux and Briton Rice, former drummer for Lex Rex and current drummer for Lucas Cates.Rice agreed to produce some of the band’s recordings, but when sessions got underway the sound began to morph and Etten switched to keys while Rice took over the drum throne.
A Rigid Shard of Balance:1 is a five-song EP and is a powerful debut. The band knows its U2 well, as the opening track “Catch Me if You Can” illustrates. Picking up where “Bad” left off for U2, “Catch Me if You Can” is propelled by Knudson’s impassioned vocal performance. Like Bono, he has a full tenor timbre capable of soaring into falsetto and delivering strong, melodic statements with spot-on pitch. The tune incorporates the fifth-grade choir from CH Bird Elementary in Sun Prairie to great effect in an anthemic proclamation of coexistence. “Juner” follows, a gorgeous piano-based mid-tempo rock ballad with soaring vocals from Knudson.“Everything Else Comes to Life” is in a similar vein, with the instrumentation focusing on the shimmering guitar work.
The production here is sensational. Recording was done at XeoJax Production Studios in Northfield, Minnesota and all post-production was done by the band with Etten mixing and mastering. The exception is “Got a Good Feeling,” which was recorded live at Madison Media Institute. The inclusion of this track demonstrates that the band is no mere production wonder, but a bona-fide rock combo of grand proportions. The EP also includes a club mix of “Catch Me if You Can” remixed by the production team of Giddings Love for Who.
Polydream are at work on A Rigid Shard of Balance:2, a full-length project that they hope to bring out around the end of the year. They are touring the Midwest and have obvious ambitions to try their luck over both seas.Catch them while you can.