Ethan Smith
May 17, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

This Chapel Hill, N.C., quartet started out in the early ’90s as the most promising of dozens of contenders for the Best Sonic Youth Derivatives crown. But despite Polvo’s ongoing virtuosic use of alternative tunings and time signatures, Exploded Drawing disappoints in one major way: The lyrics — now more audible than on previous releases — are not nearly as interesting as the music deserves. B

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