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PoiL - L'Ire Des Papes CD (album) cover





3.96 | 5 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars France has been a hotbed for new strains of avant-prog creeping up around the country in the 21st century and perhaps one of the most outrageous examples of progressively lunacy run amok comes from the Lyon based POIL which has consistently dished out some of the most frenetic sensory overloads of such music since their formation in 2005. This power trio was formed by keyboardist and chief composer Antoine Arnera with bassist and guitarist Boris Cassone and drummer Guilhem Meier. All three add extraordinarily twisted amounts of vocals where they sing, harmonize, scream, shout, chant and invoke bizarre tantric rituals.

The band has been nothing but consistent in their zany herky-jerky live performances that are part Frank Zappa, a dash of Cardiacs, a healthy dose of Chopin and Ravel all wrapped up with the punk infused energy of Melt Banana coupled with the chamber rock sensibilities of a more jazz-infused Univers Zero. After a few years of crafting their cosmic craziness POIL released their debut L'IRE DES PAPES (The Papal Ire) which finds the band in vast explorations of Chopin-esque classical piano chops that wend and wind through jazz moods, energetic outbursts and through the unrestrained pastures of sheer unhinged exuberance.

While POIL would become heavier with more guitar antics and bouts into psychedelic, on L'IRE DES PAPES, the trio are content with the avant-tinkling of the ivories that extend into cartoonish overdrive under the influence of caffeinated nuttery. For a pure acoustic band that extends the use of piano, acoustic bass and drums, POIL exude a larger than life sound with incessant time signature attacks in full math rock regalia with keyboard attacks so forceful and in yer face that it makes me wonder how many instruments were sacrificed in the making of L'IRE DES PAPES. The band's mission is clearly to expand any possible limitations and to go where no band dared to go before at the confluence of punk infused energy with sophisticated subtleties ready to burst at the seams.

While Zappa playfulness is in the forefront so to is a rather slapstick Charlie Chaplin approach that brings those wily and crafty silent film soundtracks to mind with purposefully naughty sounding piano rolls, angry bass lines and a Vaudeville stick that had been released from the insane asylum before it was ready to play fairly with the public. Nonetheless, this lightning infused trio crank out some of the most demanding ragtime meets classical chops ever laid down to a recording. The music, while incessantly frenetic is also brilliant as it's ultra-tight, packed with spirited vim and vigor approach. The band call this music a mix of progressive rock with superhero big beat surf noise rock. Not too far off the cuff.

L'IRE DES PAPES doesn't quite get into the heavy rock that 'Brossaklitt' tackles but rather is more like a psychotic lounge jazz outfit run by disgruntled classically trained concert escapees who have an axe to grind and your inner ear is their target of dismay. While not as all-all-encompassing as they would become, L'IRE DES PAPES is nevertheless an excellent slice of demented avant-prog channeled through a classical and jazz chamber rock venue. The ivory tinkling sounds like a heavily drugged Art Tatum having a psychotic episode but exudes a talent for only the most adventurous of players. Album #1 for POIL is a must hear for all those demented and twisted lovers of avant-prog run amok. Music doesn't get any more unhinged than this.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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