Poison the Well "Versions" CDPosted on Friday, May 25th, 2007 @ 11:31am » permalink
"Versions" is the latest from Poison the Well (and their Ferret Music debut), and all l can say is that there are a lot of hilariously inaccurate "reviews" of this album floating around out there. I mean, shit, based on a lot of what I had read prior to hearing it for myself I was almost afraid to listen to the damn thing because people were practically making it out to be some kind of fucking country record or something, which is absolutely laughable. Is it better than their last album? Hell yes. I don't think I've listened to that thing since the week I bought it, and I might not even have it anymore. Is it more diverse than their earlier material? Does it represent a continued growth? Absolutely, yes, of course. But just because mandolin, banjo, synthesizers, and Wurlitzer piano are credited in the booklet, that doesn't make this a "country" sounding album on any level – nor do the occasional appearances of jangly slide guitar textures or things like that. There's still plenty of screaming, lots of caustic guitar work, and a good dose of frenetic speeds. But yeah, there's also singing and spoken passages, weird little rocked out riffs, darker and more atmospheric passages, some pretty intense melodic undercurrents, etc. Plus, loads of recording techniques are employed to keep things from always sounding the same, though all things considered the album is also surprisingly cohesive. But everything's always warm and spacious, and that's fuckin' great. And layering. Tons of layering – the fact that they basically wrote and recorded this shit as a trio is pretty damn impressive, even if the music's not particularly your thing. You can't pigeonhole it, though. As opposed to "metalcore" (which this really is not), on some level it's kind of like an AmRep noise rock take on Converge with an indie-twist or something like that. And I don't want the Converge mention to discredit Poison the Well in any way, because it's just a loose reference point within the bigger picture, they're not operating in that realm, they're doing their own thing here. My point is just that, while boundaries are pushed – and diversity and creativity welcomed with open arms – this is not some "alien" sounding album that's going to drop jaws to the floor, you know? I've never been a huge Poison the Well fan, but I have owned all of their albums at one point or another (and still have most of 'em), and they've come a hell of along way since the early days. For my money this is their best album, too (handsomely packaged in a slick digipack with some really nice looking artwork, I might add)… just give it a chance and don't buy into all the inaccurate bullshit hype that's out there. Whatever the hell you want to call it, there are actually some pretty damn killer moments herein.
You know the drill. Like it? Then buy it: