AFL1-3714 Polyrock
Produced by Philip Glass & Kurt Munkacsi
Released on 1980
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
AFL1-3714 cover  

P olyrock could be pitched as Talking Heads under the tutelage of Philip Glass. Their music owes as much of a debt to Television and Brian Eno (specifically “Third Uncle”), but the Heads/Eno parallel seems to hold up the best. Yet by the time Polyrock arrived at the party (1980), the best hats were already taken, and somehow they got swept into the second wave of new wave artists like Suburban Lawns and Flying Lizards. Polyrock deserved better, but timing is everything in music. Led by brothers Billy and Tommy Robertson, this sextet made intelligent, agitated music that threw giddy melodies into the boiling stew of atonal angst and restless rhythms. Equally at home with instrumentals that sound like Peter Gunn on speed (“Bucket Rider”) and songs that suggest Ric Ocasek having a very bad day (“Romantic Me”), it’s still not a very big home. The eleven songs are driven by the same engine, loopy but never silly, as if in an alternate universe somewhere The B-52’s took themselves seriously. With all the name dropping I’m doing, you may be tempted to pick this up, and I sure wouldn’t stop you. Just a caveat: For me, Polyrock’s music has never come from musicians, and without a recognizable brand behind the band, this becomes principled and intelligent but ultimately faceless product. It’s not their fault, but if the band ever did any marketing (videos, radio singles, tours) it missed me, and I was paying attention to this sort of thing in 1980. Maybe it won’t trouble you this long after the fact, but I’ve always felt unsure about according them a high place in the heavens, maybe because sometimes the brightest stars aren’t the biggest, just the closest. If Philip Glass’ tight organ patterns push some of your buttons, however, Polyrock might push all of them.

AFL1-3714 back cover
AFL1-3714 back cover


  1. ROMANTIC ME    3:09
  2. GREEN FOR GO    3:40
  3. THIS SONG    2:15
  4. GO WEST    3:22
  6. NO LOVE LOST    2:55
  7. BODY ME    2:41
  8. SOUND ALARM    3:01
  9. BUCKET RIDER    2:55
  10. SHUT YOUR FACE    2:13
  11. #7

    All songs written by Bill and Tom Robertson


LENNY AARON -- keyboards
CURT COSENTINO -- bass machine, synthesizer
CATHERINE OBLASNEY -- vocals, percussion
BILLY ROBERTSON -- guitar, vocals
TOMMY ROBERTSON -- guitars, electronics, violin
JOSEPH YANNECE -- drums, percussion, backing vocals
Philip Glass -- piano, additional keyboards
Kurt Munkacsi -- engineer
Dominick Maita -- engineer
Hugo Dwyer -- engineer
Nick Sangiamo -- photos
J.J. Stelmach -- art director

return to POLYROCK discography

US 1980 RCA LP AFL1-3714  
UK 1980 RCA LP PL-43502  


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