Over the years, we’ve seen our fair share of indie bands succumbing to the cliché cycle of intense hype, endless tours and ultimately an average debut album. This archetype leads to inevitable fatigue and, before we know it, the destined ‘saviours’ of guitar music are gone and now work in your local Asda.
One band who haven’t conformed to this stereotypical nature of today’s indie psyche is Pumarosa. From their sprawling 7 minute saxophone harnessed debut Priestess, to their limited live dates and material, Pumarosa have seized control of their own path and it has resulted in them becoming one of the UK’s most intriguing and sonically interesting guitar bands.
Their debut record The Witch is set for a May 19th release and, in turn, Pumarosa embarked on a short tour in showcase of said album. With the already popular tracks Honey and Dragonfly in their arsenal, would their upcoming material match up with what fans have come to expect from them? And, more importantly, will Pumarosa be able to summon the magic that they first conjured up when they arrived in 2015?
As each individual member made their way onto the stage, the London outfit filled the room with a illuminated krautrock rhythm. Transforming into Dragonfly, Pumarosa’s musical prowess outstretched and infected every corner of the room. Culminating with a all-consuming wall of sound, Pumarosa were here to make a statement.
Cecile and Honey followed, with the former exploding with a brooding saxophone solo from Tomoya Suzuki during it’s climax. However, it’s Lion’s Den that takes the limelight early on in the set. One of band’s unreleased tracks off of their album, Lion’s Den sees Pumarosa at their darkest. Starting with haunting piano keys and ghostly vocals, this eerie track becomes draped in chilling guitars that begin to wail and moan. All this darkness and gloom results in a finale that has the sonic vigor of a doomgaze band.
As for other new music, The Witch sees frontwoman Isabel Munoz-Newsome hanging like a puppet on a string as she looks on to the crowd glassy-eyed. This is then juxtaposed later on in the set when she is prowling around the stage with passion similar to that of Jenny Beth of Savages. An intoxicating leader, Munoz-Newsome’s zeal grips the crowd and refuses to let go.
Elsewhere, other offerings from The Witch range from Warpaint-esque spacey atmospheres to an anthemic set closer that is guided by a wonky feverish beat. However, it’s Priestess that truly owns the night. Cascading into a flurry of tropical beats, akin to that of Jagwar Ma, this tribal ritual has an almost Madchester feel to it. Spell-binding, spiritual and stunning, Priestess still sounds as fresh as it did 2 years ago and maybe even better.
To put it bluntly, Pumarosa are a special band. Uncompromising and bursting with ideas and creativity, tonight showed that Pumarosa have crafted a wonderful debut. Masterful in their live execution, this album release will surely spark their immediate rise and there is nobody who deserves it more.