Monday, January 05, 2004

[Sorry to be so late today...having a lot of trouble getting the mp3s to work...AOL behaving very strangely...they're working now, so I hope it stays that way.]

I feature another problematic band today, Poem Rocket. To the best of my knowledge, the number of groups who 1. use dissonant guitars 2. in reasonably catchy songs 3. with decent production 4. and aren't goth/industrial/too arty is very small. Poem Rocket often fall slightly afoul of #2 (underwritten songs), #3 (some lo-fi items) and #4 (too arty, especially with the vocals), but I'm willing to overlook these lapses for several reasons. One, there aren't many people doing what they do, so I'm grateful for what's available. And two, when everything goes right they can be fantastic.

Supposedly they have a double album coming out this year, and I'm hopeful that I'll be able to cherry-pick a handful of good songs from it. Their last release was on Atavistic and it's called Psychogeography. It's an uneven album with high points and low points. None of it is actually bad, but there are several songs (especially a dubious Fall homage called Hip Pharmacy) that may have you reaching for the skip button.

Smack dab in the middle of the record, though, there's a great one-two punch. First song is Crappy Payphone Song, which is funnier and more interesting than Sonic Youth's payphone song (Providence from Daydream Nation). And it leads right into Karel Appel which has a wonderfully simple guitar hook and one of the stranger choruses I've found myself singing in the shower ("COBRA, Copenhagen, Brussels, Amesterdam!").

I spent so much time fighting with AOL today that that's it for now. There's an unreleased Poem Rocket track that's pretty good here, if you want to hear more.

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