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PoiL - Sus CD (album) cover





3.93 | 59 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars Following from their coming together with ni in 2018 as PiNioL, 2019 saw both bands independently releasing new albums. For PoiL that meant their fourth studio album, 'Sus', which was the first since 2014's 'BrossaKlitt'. The line-up is of course the same as it has been throughout their history, namely Antoine Arnera (keyboards, vocals), Boris Cassone (bass, vocals) and Guilhem Meier (drums, vocals). I have often felt that in terms of having no place to hide, trios are the perfect combination, in that each musician needs to have major chops, and be ready to take on the lead or support their companions at any moment. A really good trio stands out due to the innate ability of each musician to do this at all times, and it perhaps is no surprise that very few trios have managed to reach the heights of quartets.

In PoiL we have three guys who are taking pronk into new areas, mixing the punkish approach of bands like Cardiacs with the eclecticism of King Crimson, and then throwing in krautrock and Art Zoyd to create something which is aggressive and attacking the listener. I have seen the term brutal prog being used to describe PoiL, and while we already have more than enough sub genres around, I fully understand where that term comes from. This music is ferocious, and there are times when the listener really does feel under siege as the drums crash all over the place, the bass is there in the mix threatening anyone who comes near and then the organ is equally strident. Compare this ferociousness with the a capella harmonious "La Potz", and the listener's brain literally starts to explode. Dangerous and aggressive music always needs contrast, something which many bands don't ever manage to really understand, but to understand the dark we need to know the light, and to really get the impression of anger we need the kindness, and with the smooth comes the sharp. PoiL do not need to have this explained to them, and have no problem with mixing all these styles together to create something which is compelling and inviting while also attempting to frighten the listener away.

When it comes to avant prog there are few creating music as important and dynamic as PoiL.

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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