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A Tomato A Day: The Moon is Green

In certain circles, stock once put in good old fashioned sex and drugs has been transferred to mental illness. On one level, the unhealthy interest that critics take in the psychic trauma of Daniel Johnston, Skip Spence, and Roky Erickson is an opportunistic attempt to change the subject by writers who love writing about anything except the music. From another angle, though, the complicated pasts of artists like Brian Wilson provide a compelling alternate reading of their art. Such is the tightrope that Brian Poloncic's The Moon is Green EP crosses. Shortly before the release of his first album under the A Tomato a Day (Keeps the Tornados Away) moniker, Brian was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He would go on, his press materials proudly state, to spend time in mental hospitals in three states, and his statuesque Poseidon bearded stare from the liner notes suggests unspeakably confused loneliness.

But what does it sound like? Much like the similarly marketed Daniel Johnston, Poloncic's music is insular lo-fi pop that has taken its inspiration, but not necessarily sound from the indie and punk movements. The lack of production clarity may turn off some listeners new to lo-fi, but the few instruments chosen provide for a rich and deep sound. Most songs are driven by what sounds like a 12-string guitar although many of the 20 minute work's best sections contain the guest cello of David Downing. "In a Book" comes nearest to rocking, in an early 90's Guided by Voices sort of way, with electric guitar throbbing just beneath the surface of Poloncic's intimate vocal. "Silver Fox", is his best song, with power pop hooks implied in a clever structure. Don't get too attracted or too horrified at the backstory. This is pleasant music crafted far away from major labels pressure and conventional categorization, with many points of interest for the adventurous listener.

Track Listing
1. Moonshine
2. Silver Fox
3. Winter Wind
4. Halo
5. The Highest Kite
6. In a Book
7. Build a Town

Added: July 21st 2008
Reviewer: Robert Short
Related Link: Public Eyesore Records
Hits: 1986
Language: english

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