Although Leslie Keffer started making noise music with radios and voice in 2003, she hadn't worked outside of her proverbial rural isolationist vacuum, nor had she been truly influenced by noise music until after her first tour. Once she was performing with radios live steadily for a year or two, initially opening for touring acts in Athens, Ohio, a small town where she did booking at a local bar, she found that she didn't have time to seek through all of the radio static for more nuanced sounds in real time, so she learned to work more in the moment.
As such, Pollutes represents Keffer's first release that is maybe "self-aware" as noise music with a surrounding narrative history. It might be her most harsh work up to that point, but it's also unique in that it incorporates a vintage Echoplex tape machine for an added analog feel, as well as a toy piano on the final track. Rather than recording onto minidisc, this series of excursions was recorded direct to tape, initially self-released on home-dubbed cassettes with no digital editing (and no guitar pedals!) of any kind.