Photo: Aaron Meyers

March 9, 2015 | by Bryne Yancey

Sonically, Austin, TX’s Pollen evoke the austerity and arguably, inherent mindlessness of 1960s garage rock and frayed tinges of first-wave punk. The five songs on their new Buyer’s EP, out tomorrow, are adept, relatively straightforward takes on an energetic, if not well-worn style. But there’s much more happening here than meets the ear.

Pollen use that approachable lens of ‘60s garage and early punk as a hook to explore much deeper and very real modern issues through their lyrics. In “Supply Chain,” the band wonder aloud about the environmental and societal implications of manufacturing (‘Coca Cola/ Motorola/ Its the supply chain And in the DRC/ the bottom of the mine/ they are digging dirt/ so you can stay online
I bet your phone is pretty slick/ but you’ll get new iPhones quick’
); in “Packaging,” they discuss the sort of rampant marketing that informs nearly every purchase we make whether we realize it or not (‘What should I buy/ Package it right/ every purchase is a story/ A story that I buy/ Organic from Ecuador/ Read it on the flyer/ conflicts moving back and forth/ I am just the buyer’). It’s pretty riveting stuff, and through this lens, the songs end up being weirdly fun as hell while remaining cogent in their messaging.

Stream the Buyer’s EP in full below and buy it here.