Review: The Poison Arrows – First Class, and Forever (File Thirteen Records)

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first.jpgThe Poison Arrows have been working towards their first full length since 1996, despite member shifts. What they have produced is not good-time rock and roll, but an album that corrodes, chills, and enthralls. Chords are dissonant and clashing, tempos are irregular, but hey, this is why we love math rock. Don’t turn to “First Class, and Forever” for a good cry- vocalist Sinkovich (of Atombombpocketknife) alternates between emotionless detachment and angsty, grating passion. The album may even leave you feeling a little isolated. Or induce a seizure- in a good way. However it provides a great platform for talented musicians, such as Patrick Morris from Don Caballero, to exercise their skill. Steve Albini’s production doesn’t hurt either. Throughout Albini’s career he has been trying to tether the furious aggression of hardcore punk to the reserved, eloquent agony of post-rock, and this LP comes pretty damn close to accomplishing this. Each layer is carefully captured without the faux marks of authenticity so common in punk, without losing any of the angst. “First Class, and Forever” combines punk and post-rock both in production and aesthetic, a technique previously mastered by artists like Slint. If you know what I’m talking about, you’ll enjoy this.

RIYD: Drive Like Jehu, Dismemberment Plan, Jesus Lizard, Polvo, Tar
-Special K

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