Review

Pengo - a nervous splendor

Skyscraper

The neo-folk and outsider weirdness genres have certainly collided head on, and the attention of critics and fans has been growing phenomenally. While groups like Sunburned Hand of the Man and Six Organs of Admittance garner the most praise (although completely deserved), smaller acts like Pengo help fill out the modern genre with output worthy of such notoriety. A Nervous Spendor starts off with a front porch-styled banjo and cymbal duet, with a speech of Christian rebirth clearly stating that Pengo is to be taken as a holy experience, not a silent head-bobbing affair. Strings slowly drone like waves on a beach, as if Vibracathedral Orchestra were stripped of their possessions and sent to a Midwestern American farm. It's not until the second side, however, that Pengo truly blows the hay off the stack. Electronics and deep bellows knock the wind from your lungs and into your stomach. Slowly, the vague outline of a ship clears through the fog, providing enough time to realize that this harbor is doomed. Pengo provide a small masterpiece with A Nervous Splendor, hopefully far from their end as a cohesive group.



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