The inventiveness of this Cincinnati, Ohio, quartet can be as subtle as the hazy lead-in to One of Us’s title track, in which the art-rockers re-imagine an orchestra pit’s pre-show tuning with their own electric instruments. The touch is so deft, it can blow right past the casual listener, who may toss the group’s third effort in with many more pedestrian attempts at incorporating psychedelic, shoegaze, and surf. These fancy Pomegranates thrive in embellishments: the dreamy synthesizer and near spoken-word lyrics of “White Fawn”; the slow-as-molasses whammy bar on “Perception”; the bounce-stop-bounce beat of “Anywhere You Go,” coupled with literary, slice-of-life lyrics like, “We were dressed for summer, laying on the grass, with one eye on the stars.” Pomegranates falter only on their straightest song, a piano ballad featuring hushed vocals quavering about “sorry I was first to cry,” and angels, and vulnerability. Snore. Wake me up for the vintage engine-revvin’, hip-shakin’ rock of “Skull Cakin,’” perhaps the most unexpected success on an album full of surprises.
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