Be it as a member of Sebadoh, Sentridoh, The Folk Implosion, Earlimart or Alaska!, Russell Pollard has served as one of the finest go-to utility players in modern rock for the last 15 years.
With Everest, however, the veteran indie drummer has taken center stage as the leader of this increasingly promising Los Angeles quartet rounded out by bassist Eli Thomson and guitarists John Soda and Joel Graves, proving his chops as a formidable songwriter and frontman in his own right. Neil Young doesn’t sign just any old act to his long-running boutique label Vapor Records. And Everest indeed delivers the goods to Papa Neil on Ownerless, the band’s third release for the label and without question their best effort to date. This is an uncompromising rock record that cobbles together the kind of ragged guitar glory that permeated such Crazy Horse classics as Zuma and Re*Ac*Tor, a keen ear for the more pragmatic end of the Krautrock spectrum and a sense of the melodic sensitivity that’s earned him a place behind the kit of Lou Barlow’s recent creative output these last dozen years.
Pollard and company will be trekking across the country this fall as the opening act of the tour supporting Neil Young’s victorious reunion album with the Horse Americana. If you already got your ticket to one of the forthcoming dates of this anticipated concert event, do yourself a favor and get there early to check out Everest. Based on the full-throttle energy they bring forth on Ownerless, they have certainly earned their place warming up their mentor’s massive Fender amps this time around.