Today's Active Lifestyles

Last updated
Today's Active Lifestyles
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 19, 1993
RecordedDecember 18–21, 1992
Genre Post-hardcore, noise rock, math rock
Label Merge Records
Polvo chronology
Cor-Crane Secret
Today's Active Lifestyles
Celebrate the New Dark Age
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [1]
The Great Alternative & Indie Discography 5/10 [2]
Select U+25A0.svgU+25A0.svgU+25A0.svgU+25A1.svgU+25A1.svg [3]
Uncut 8/10 [4]

Today's Active Lifestyles is Polvo's second studio album. It was produced by Bob Weston and released on Merge Records in 1993.



Early versions of the cover art featured red tigers in the yellow colour field, but these were soon removed due to a lawsuit from its painter Andy Freeburn.


The album was released on Merge Records. "Tilebreaker" was released as a 7" single with the song "Chameleon" and the instrumental "Tiara Fetish" on the B-side. ("Tiara Fetish" would later appear, with lyrics, as the song "Watch the Nail" on the Merge compilation 5 Rows of Teeth.)


The album went on to receive mostly positive reviews upon release. Tracy Fey of Allmusic called it "an excellent album with many layers." "Never a band to follow formulaic musical styles," she writes, "Polvo once again shakes things up with its twisted song structures of multiple tempos and intricate, distorted guitars." [1] Gerry McGovern of Hot Press gave the album a very positive review, calling it "a massive album. In the sense that it is sprawling, falling, tipping all over the place." He writes that the album sounds the way "Sonic Youth might if Sonic Youth untuned their untuned guitars." [5] CD Review wrote that the album "has all the credentials for a bona fide indie rock classic." [6] Spin wrote that the "refreshingly potent" album sounds more like a "top-notch Glenn Branca spinoff than a college-rock favorite." [7] A mixed review from Select found the album to be derivative of acts like Dinosaur Jr. & Swervedriver, despite noting its "beguiling rhythmic charm". [3]

The Wire included the album on their year-end "Out Rock-Pop" list. [8]


Under the Radar called the album a "gift" that "explode[s] your mind with inventive guitar work." [9] Dusted Magazine called it "fresh and off-the-cuff". [10] The album is now described by many as being a "landmark" [11] and a "classic". [12] According to Popmatters , the album along with its follow up "found the best balance between [...] assaulting you with bending notes one moment, and soaring over you with crunching anthems the next." [13] Peter Watts of Uncut reviewed the album's 2020 reissue very positively, and hailed the closing track "Gemini Cusp" as a "lo-fi prog masterpiece." [4]

Treble included the album on their list, "Merge Records: 20 Essential Albums". [14] Similarly, Popmatters included it on "Merge's Silver Age: 25 Essential Albums Over 25 Years". [15]

Track listing

  1. "Thermal Treasure" – 4:32
  2. "Lazy Comet" – 3:49
  3. "My Kimono" – 2:21
  4. "Sure Shot" – 3:24
  5. "Stinger (Five Wigs)" – 7:23
  6. "Tilebreaker" – 4:09
  7. "Shiska" – 1:30
  8. "Time Isn't On My Side" – 3:06
  9. "Action Vs. Vibe" – 3:43
  10. "Gemini Cusp" – 7:05


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  1. 1 2 "Today's Active Lifestyles - Polvo | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic.
  2. Strong, Martin Charles (1999). The great alternative & indie discography. ISBN   9780862419134.
  3. 1 2 "Select Magazine Website".
  4. 1 2 Peter Watts, Uncut May 2020 issue, page 47
  5. McGovern, Gerry. "Today's Active Lifestyles". Hotpress.
  6. CD Review Digest: Jazz, popular, etc. Peri Press. 1994.
  7. SPIN. SPIN Media LLC. June 1993.
  8. "The Wire Magazine 1993-12".
  9. Pace, J. "Siberia".
  10. "Dusted Reviews: Polvo - Siberia".
  11. "Polvo".
  12. "Polvo Siberia".
  13. "Polvo: In Prism". PopMatters. September 9, 2009.
  14. Terich, Jeff (January 19, 2009). "Merge Records: 20 Essential Albums".
  15. "Merge's Silver Age: 25 Essential Albums Over 25 Years". PopMatters. July 22, 2014.