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RIO/Avant-Prog • France

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PoiL biography
A Lyon-based combo POIL were formed as an experimental rock trio by the frontman Antoine ARNERA (keyboards, voices; Le GRAND SBAM), Boris CASSONE (bass, voices), and Guihem MEIER (drums, voices; UKANDANZ) in 2006. Without any limitations, prohibitions, nor traditions, they've combined raw madness and virtuosity evoking thoughts of avantgarde-progressive basis like Frank ZAPPA, classic essence like Frederic CHOPIN or Igor STRAVINSKY, and theatrical approaches like Charlie CHAPLIN according to what they say. Their debut album "L'ire Des Papes" has been released in 2008, during massive gig shower.

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POIL discography

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POIL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 2 ratings
L'ire Des Papes
3.58 | 10 ratings
Dins O Cuol
3.93 | 48 ratings

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POIL Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 BrossaKlitt by POIL album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.93 | 48 ratings

PoiL RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I'm not normally a big fan of music that is very fast and starts and stops on a dime. This reminds me of some of those Japanese bands that play in this style, and while it's impressive it's not that enjoyable for me. POIL also features vocals and multi-vocals that also go a million miles an hour as we get these chanting and singing acrobatics. The thing is that this band not only impresses me with their abilities to do this but it is actually enjoyable for me for the most part. While these guys are French I do keep hearing English words at times that are vulgar and maybe this isn't surprising given the art work that looks like a picture of an orgy and I understand the title is in reference to a rather loose woman.

"Fionosphere" opens with strange sounds before we hear yelling and shouting as the music kicks in with drums leading the way. A calm before it starts to build 2 1/2 minutes in. Love the sound here at 3 minutes, so much going on. Deep Zeuhl-like vocals after 3 1/2 minutes join in before the complex instrumental workouts return. Contrasts continue. Insanity before 6 minutes and some crazy vocals before 8 minutes before those Zeuhl- like vocals return late. An intense ending to this one. "Introklitt" is a short piece with bizarre sounds and vocals. "Brossaklitt" has some nice guitar in the intro before these crazy vocals take over. Some powerful instrumental sections are contrasted with the vocal/drum passages. "Patachou" opens with the vocals and intruments starting and stopping on a dime. So impressive. It then settles into a powerful groove with so much going on. Vocals are back and to my ears there's a Japanese vibe going on. Zeuhlish vocal sections come and go as well. A powerful sound before 5 minutes then back to the insanity. After 8 1/2 minutes you'd think the apocalypse has begun. "MAO" is different from the rest as we get this dance-like beat and an 80's New Wave sound with manipulated vocals. Quite catchy and full of energy until a calm arrives before 2 1/2 minutes but it doesn't last long.

"Goddog" has this complex and avant-garde instrumental work to start and it is difficult to get into until the vocals arrive and it settles down. These contrasts will continue. Distortion galore to end it. "Dins O Klitt" is short and dark with weird sounds and samples. "Pikiwa" opens with electric piano-like sounds that come and go before these insane vocal arrangements join in. A calm 2 minutes in as deep Zeuhl-like vocals arrive almost humming like "Aummmmm" over and over. Love when the drums kick in before 3 1/2 minutes then electric piano and more as the vocals shout. Man this grooves 6 1/2 minutes in as the guitar screams, this continues until just before 11 minutes then it turns even more insane. "La Balade Des Minouchoux" ends this album and it sounds almost normal with electric piano and picked guitar but even this has some crazy time signatures. Drums join in as these intricate sounds seem to be randomly played. It's more powerful before 3 minutes. So impressive!

I have to give this 4.5 stars just for the imagination of this band and their lights-out playing. Sure they sound like they might belong in a mental hospital of sorts and were allowed out to record this but if your into complex avant-garde music played at a high tempo you need to hear this.

 BrossaKlitt by POIL album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.93 | 48 ratings

PoiL RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars French band POIL was formed in 2005, and has released three studio albums since then. The first of these was "L'ire Des Papes" in 2008, which was followed by "Dins O Cuol" in 2012. "Brossaklitt" is their most recent production, and was released through the Italian Altrock label in 2014.

Intense, dramatic and unusual music of the kind I guess can be described as some sort of controlled chaos is what Poil provides on "Brossaklitt". This is quality chaos however, hypnotic and compelling with intense sounds, vocals, and rhythms compiled into an insanely well made brew. Fans of truly innovative progressive rock should know their visiting time as far as this band is concerned, especially those who is of the opinion that 'you' can no longer create music that sounds fresh and new. Highly recommended.

 BrossaKlitt by POIL album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.93 | 48 ratings

PoiL RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Nogbad_The_Bad
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

5 stars Great young band from Lyon, France, they are an ultra tight trio of Antoine Arnera (keyboards & vocals), Boris Cassone (bass, guitar, vocals), Guilhem Meier (drums, vocals). Their style is manic, frenetic punky high energy with nonsense lyrics. They bring to mind Zappa, Cardiacs, Samla Mammas Manna, Hamster Theater, Miriodor and other "circus" prog bands. They were one of the hits of the Rock In Opposition festival in 2013 (unfortunately I was having lunch during their set, doh!)

The band describe themselves as "the combined raw madness and virtuosity evoking thoughts of avantgarde-progressive basis like Frank Zappa, classic essence like Frederic Chopin or Igor Stravinsky, and theatrical approaches like Charlie Chaplin". Fortunately they don't take themselves too seriously, there is loads of humor here, though apparently a lot of it is potty mouthed if you know your French.

One of a number of really good young French bands bringing imagination and energy to the Avant scene.

Highly recommended for fans of high energy bonkers chaos

 Dins O Cuol by POIL album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.58 | 10 ratings

Dins O Cuol
PoiL RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Dins O cuol' - PoiL (59/100)

If there was any other band out there today I might compare PoiL to, it would be miRthkon. Like those loveable avant-prog banana afficionados, PoiL virtually defy conventional definitions of genre. Yet, in spite of this avant-leaning weirdness, they come from a very firm musical tradition, in this case being the 'RIO' or Rock In Opposition movement. Zappa-esque swirling instrumentation and whimsy are bolstered with an impressive knowledge and application of modern classical trends. The wacky approach on Dins O cuol serves them well for the most part and suggests this French trio has a ton of weirdly compelling potential, although a lack of structure and misguided sense of humour sometimes makes their second album more of a test of listening endurance than anything.

Although the weird, manic approach should come as no surprise to veterans of avant and other 'forward-thinking' progressive rock, PoiL's music doesn't tend to make sense. Listening to the album and the way they've structured the music, I get the impression it isn't meant to. Logic and convention is thrown out the door for the most part, and with the notable exception of "Trouille Cosmique" (which offers a semblance of catchiness and form), PoiL's songwriting unfolds rhapsodically. It's worthy of mention that PoiL don't make use of an electric guitar. A rock-based energy is PoiL's lifeblood, but it's the keyboard orchestrations of Antoine Arnera that delivers most of the band's clear 'ideas'. For a keyboardist, Arnera's playing is incredibly dissonant and biting, which might have better showcased the band's neoclassical influence, had the music not felt so whimsical and silly. Boris Cassone's bass work is less pronounced, but arguably more consistent. Guilhem Meier's drumming is actually the aspect of PoiL's sound that has impressed me the most; especially during the music's most chaotic moments, it sounds like he's tapping into a semi-permanent free jazz fill- almost certainly overwhelming to accustomed ears, but brilliant if heard with ears experienced in this sort of music.

Despite my reservations towards Dins O cuol, I can't call their instrumentation anything short of excellent. Ultimately, most of the gripes I have towards the performance are aimed towards the vocals, an element of their sound contributed to by all three members. 'Weird' vocals often tread the border between being exciting and tasteless; for PoiL the vocals all-too often fall in the latter category. The wacky sprechsegang and kitschy screams of Mike Patton come first to mind, and even in his case, I wasn't always into his jarring vocal experiments. For PoiL, I'm generally left feeling like the vocals (and some of their musical choices) have been orchestrated purely for the sake of bad humour. For all their musical sophistication and intelligence, PoiL have an atrociously bad sense of humour. Their cartoonish music video for "Trouille Cosmique" was pretty cute and the callow jest has generally worked for Zappa, Devin Townsend and PoiL's own contemporaries in miRthkon. In PoiL's case, the whimsical vibe compliments sections of the album, but far too often it falls somewhere between being puzzling and outright disgusting. The worst offender in this case is "Vilain Manderin", not the song so much, but the 'bonus' ten minutes that follows. The sampling of bodily functions, irritating vocalizations and half-baked 'scat' warbling is frankly nauseating. Don't get me wrong- I'm not prudish about gross humour in the slightest (I myself once recorded an album entitled Recordungs!) but when the joke overshadows the 'musical' elements, it becomes impossible to tolerate. Even if I was impressed by the actual musicianship, the extended outro kills the enthusiasm I would have had for it after it ended. Then again, there are people out there who like Zappa's Lumpy Gravy and Mike Patton's Adult Themes for Voice, so don't take my word for it.

There's some potentially great avant-prog on Dins O cuol, but it comes with the requirement of wading through some [&*!#] to get to it. PoiL could be brilliant, and in some ways they already are. At the very least, the fact that they've been able to both amaze and disgust me within the same forty minute period is something any avant-leaning band could be proud of.

 Dins O Cuol by POIL album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.58 | 10 ratings

Dins O Cuol
PoiL RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group RIO/Avant/Zeuhl & Neo Teams

4 stars Hooray. POIL have overturned the establish soundscape of avantgarde progressive. They claimed they'd got quite influenced by Zappa or several classic artists like Chopin or Stravinsky, and an adviser from moviedom Chaplin, and we can enjoy their cinema show here as they say.

The first "Tronche └ Cul" sounds like Zappa meets Zeuhl Emperor Magma and a Japanese post-punk bizarre Aburadako. Firstly felt we could dance to their songs (but actually cannot lol) ... guess their pop, punksy atmosphere with experimental complexity (too tough for us to follow completely!) should remind us something like danceable grooves. Their "Zeuhl-ish" mysterious words are funky, funny, which should be just suitable for their punky basal sounds. All stuffs sound very cynical but very addictive for us, whilst we feel innovative call via their magical soundscape off the top of our head.

The following track "Trouille Cosmique" can exactly be called as a musical vertigo, let me say. Frequent kaleidoscopic development with colourful sounds is very attractive and allusive to their explosive ideas. Sometimes launch RIO-ish funky scratches like Zamla Mammaz Manna, and sometimes heavy, swift sound sandwiches with delirious synthesizer machine-gun shoots like Yes or EL&P ... such a theatrical melody hotchpotch with eccentricity, versatility definitely delivers a decisive addiction that makes us happy and pleasant. Really cannot help feeling they could play strictly on stage (of course believe they can do!).

Third track (and a masterpiece in this album?) "Dins O Cuol" ... the title is something nasty and dirty, with their crazy intelligence ... And hey, the intelligence can be heard here there and everywhere in this stuff, where are flooded with mischievous sounds and jokey voices liable to launch not seriousness but sound malformation to us. Interesting though. In the last "Les Vilain Mandarin" (the latter part sounds like their kitty play btw) we can feel their magnificent sound-seasoned outrage. Yeah outrageous indeed. As the title says, they might uglify "typical" avantgarde rock opera, with scattered percussive passion. Quite fit for singing about "the exit or the entrance of your a*****e" and their music lifestyle itself.

A distorted phantasie created by POIL. Anyway, they've played on stage of FREAKSHOW (in Wurzburg) with my best friend band Djamra in September 2013 ... wish I could have attended this show and got immersed in their soundscape indeed.

Thanks to DamoXt7942 for the artist addition.

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