Polvo is widely considered to be standard bearer of a genre which came to be known as math rock, although in interviews the band disavowed that categorization. Their sound was defined by complex and dissonant guitar harmonies and driving rhythm, complementing cryptic, often surrealist lyrics. Their sound was so unpredictable and angular that the band's guitarists were often accused of failing to play with correctly tuned guitars. Polvo's songs and artwork frequently featured Asian/"exotic" themes and references. The band's name means "octopus" in Portuguese and "powder" or "dust" in Spanish; in Spain it also is a slang word for sex.
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