Poison The Well


Written by: PP on 20/05/2009 16:27:04

Aside from its cryptic Roman numerals based title, what exactly is this mysterious release by experimental post-hardcore act Poison The Well? I'm glad you asked. Back when the band was recording their seminal masterpiece "Versions" in 2007 (you guys NEED to check this album out if you haven't. It is amazing), they recorded so many good songs that they had no idea what to do with all of them. Stuffing 18 or so songs into the record was no option, but throwing away so many great tracks would just feel like such a waste. A year went by while the band was considering their options on the remaining six songs, until someone went Eureka and figured the band could put out three 7" vinyls at two month intervals with two songs each. Collecting all three would result into a quite cool larger piece of artwork as seen in this photo, but since lots of people like me don't even own a vinyl player, the label figured out that at the end of the third 7" they would also release all of the songs on a CD EP. Hence this review.

So are these songs essentially just b-sides because they weren't on "Versions"? Far from it. Nearly every track on the EP could've been on the album, and the only probable reason for leaving them out is just lack of space and need to select specific songs to fit the album's theme. That's why a song like "New Fast" has a stupendous chorus while still being an understandable track to leave out from the full length. But then we move straight into brilliance. "Purple Sabbath" is a quintessential modern Poison The Well track: it features everything from the immense guitar experimentation to the haunting-but-astonishing clean vocal harmonies and tempo shifts from chaos-hardcore to an almost balladic format. The pipes of vocalist Jeff Moreira are nothing short of amazing, and while some may consider his strange howls annoying, once you become accustomed into them you'll discover an entirely new side to the band's music. "Shuffle Run Desire" also features the same haunting clean vox, but at the same time it's probably the one track that most references the band's older output when grouped together with songs from "Versions". "Bowie" is this EP's "Slow Good Morning", a balladic piece that features simple instrumentation turned breathtaking through the usage of slow tempo and great vocals (did I mention Moreira is one of my favorite vocalists?). The fans of the band's more aggressive material will find "A# No. 1" to be the one rooted in hardcore. Moreira starts off with throaty screaming but here too the band's new-found love for clean choruses manifests itself, and although fairly good by itself, it has to be said that it stands no chance against the other tracks on the EP if you ask me. Finally, "Gone Clean" finishes the record with just over a minute's worth of hardcore punk inspired tempo complete with a nicely rhythmic oomph-oomph drum pattern.

The "I II III" EP may on paper sound like a b-sides album of tracks that didn't make it to "Versions", but since Poison The Well are one of those bands who seem to lack the ability to write tracks that wouldn't be fucking great, you have nothing to worry here. The band's gearing up to release their new album "The Tropic Rot" this summer, which leaves this EP as a perfect appetizer for the great things (hopefully, no, wait, surely) to come. If you liked "Versions", there's no way you won't like this as well.


Download: Purple Sabbath, Bowie
For the fans of: Hopesfall, Misery Signals, Fear Before The March Of Flames
Listen: Myspace

Release date 18.04.2009
Ferret Music

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