Pole Position – XO

Pole Position – XO

Pole Position’s website cites influences such as “Portuguese fado and Brazilian bossa nova to kraut rock, seventies Italian pop, prog rock, crypto-homo rockers, and fierce determination.” For an EP with only five songs, that’s a lot of influences.

While the singing immediately evokes images of Thom Yorke racing his Porsche down an English back road, Pole Position have to fear an eternity in pixilation-plagued Atari land. Don’t get me wrong. Daniel Da Silva seems to have an ear for lyrics, an obvious talent at the keys, and a propellant falsetto, but Pole Position’s EP only approaches the likes of Kid A, and XO feels doomed to a similar kind of obscurity.

Da Silva’s falsetto and Rui Guerreiro’s electronic instruments are a dead giveaway to English prog influences, but Pole Position doesn’t deserves only grief for their work. After all, even Radiohead started somewhere. XO is their first release, and it’s obvious they have a sound, it’s just an old sound…from 2000. But their songs are simple and effective like an old Atari joystick. What matters is that Pole Position actually has potential.

Unfortunately, Thom Yorke has one of the most recognizable voices in rock today, and Daniel Da Silva’s is nearly identical.

3 thoughts on “Pole Position – XO”

  1. Not only are the atari references lazy thinking on the reviewers part (does Led Zeppelin deserve to always be described in terms a big floating blimp?), but Dasilva’s voice sounds nothing like Thom Yorke’s. In fact, it approaches Sade a lot more closely, or – more poignantly – Marc Almond.

    I agree with you about their potential, and also about the discs fate in obscurity but hardly because of your shallow Kid A comparison. This disc has nothing to do with Kid A, the comparison is unfounded. It is fated to obscurity because it is a first disc by a flegdling band, and because it is conceptual, creating moods and images, and does not lend itself easily as a pop crossover.

    In a sea of cookie cutter garage rock, stale new wave, and lame radio, I find this short disc inspiring and refreshing. The mix of sparse keys and the drums set off the “propellant” falsetto nicely. I dont mean to be anal, but falsetto is used in the harmonies and some second voices. However, Dasilva’s main vocal is a warm, floating tenor.

    Those who choose to review music, should research and expand their reference points. To hear a tenor and immediately exclaim, “Radiohead!” is just cheap.

  2. If it wasn’t for the unfortunate typo in my review, I’d argue with you: “but Pole Position doesn’t deserves only grief for their work.” What the fuck is that?

    Seriously, though. Let me know when this group hits it big.

    One year later,


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