Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Review: Poison The Well - “Versions”

When I heard the song “Letter Thing” posted on the internet long before the release of this album, I was hooked. I had to find out what the rest of “Versions” sounds like for myself.

It’s no secret that Poison The Well have been getting ripped off by numerous clone bands. Poison The Well has chosen a path that puts them ahead of the game in terms of creativity, and hopefully longevity by adding some very old-school elements to their core sound. It’s a huge creative left turn that surprisingly turns out heavier than their previous works. So what’s that creative left turn I’m speaking of? Raw, gritty bluesy bar rock and country, yes country music grabbed from decades ago. Further back than the 80's. It’s not slight either, the album is teeming with old-school elements left and right, and Poison The Well integrate screaming vocals, tempos upped by today’s standards, and low distorted heavy slow moments with those old elements seamlessly.

You can expect to hear slide guitars, dirty guitars, horns, and even subtle hints of organs. Little hints of echoing reverb, little bits of feedback intentionally left in, and guitars played so hard that they get pulled out of tune just a little for a moment make for an extremely raw performance. At the same time, the actual recording quality is top notch, and the band’s playing is super tight. It’s a strange combination of slick and raw together, as they typically don’t mesh at all, but in this case it works perfectly.

If there’s something at fault, it’s that some songs are short, and seem like they’re building to something even more powerful, and then simply end without anything to bring the listener down properly. Some people would look at that as simply a way of keeping the energy high, and giving the listener a reason to come back, subconsciously hoping the song will finish properly on the next listen.

“Versions” is no doubt going to be a polarizing album to longtime fans of Poison The Well. One thing is for certain, the new additions in sound were not made with the intention of becoming more popular.


Poison The Well At MySpace
Poison The Well At Ferret



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