Back in the 1990s, while normal adolescents were flailing away on air guitars to Alice in Chains, the kids in Point Juncture, WA, probably convinced their parents to buy them vibraphones. The second album by this quintet of artsy ragamuffins, Heart to Elk (Mount Fuji Records) is a thoughtfully arranged collection of autumnal indie-rock studded with Sonic Youth guitar savagery. The wistful vocals of Amanda Spring and Victor Nash bring to mind Yo La Tengo, particularly on “Sick on Sugar,” in which a brave trumpet warily faces down a phalanx of guitars. But even when Point Juncture, WA, deploys distortion, it’s a safe bet that bits of electric piano, trumpet, and, yes, vibraphone are waiting nearby to make a graceful entrance.
This article appeared in the January 2009 issue of Portland Monthly.