What Time is It? 'Variety Hour'

Check out new Pono AM album “Variety Hour.” From left to right, Josh Friedrich and Kory Meyer, both on guitar and vocals.  Photographed by Jensen Jones

Check out new Pono AM album “Variety Hour.” From left to right, Josh Friedrich and Kory Meyer, both on guitar and vocals.
Photographed by Jensen Jones

Tonight, Pono AM will release their first full-length album, “Variety Hour,” at The Heavy Anchor at 9 p.m. The album has been in progress for roughly two years — nearly the entirety of the band’s existence.

“There’s three songs on the album that our old drummer, Daniel Orndorff, played on,” band member Josh Friedrich said. “I think that’s a testament to how long we’ve been working on this thing.”

The recording of “Variety Hour” began in January with Brandon Bischoff of Red Suitcase Labs, and mixing was finished Nov. 14, two days before the release. Bischoff is described as essentially another member of the band, as he has helped shape the sound during the process of recording.

Based out of Festus, Mo., the band consists of Kory Meyer and Josh Friedrich both on guitar and vocals, Brandon Fichtenmayer on bass and Sean Kennedy on drums. Their combined love for poorly-recorded music was a large portion of their inspiration for the album.

“As a band, we all lean towards garage type music,” Friedrich said. “We tend to like things that sound shitty.”

Some of the acts they collectively love are Ty Segall, The Velvet Underground and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.

From Pono AM's forthcoming debut album, “Variety Hour.”
Bandcamp: https://ponoam.bandcamp.com/releases
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ponoamstl/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pono_am/

Opening with the playful track “Theme,” the album delves into a wide variety of genres. They can consistently be described as rock and pop, which Pono AM members prefer to label them, as subgenres can be limiting to “Variety Hour.” Their writing approach is individualized on each song, opposed to an overall focus on a specific sound for the band.

Favorite tracks: “Punching Bag,” “Money” and “Silver Sofa.”
Variety Hour will be available for streaming on Nov. 17.

Stream Pono AM here: https://open.spotify.com/artist/26LOCIKEqBxYxdzW3uMRBm

Written by Logan Bryant