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Thursday, March 13, 2014

EP Review - POHL II by POHL

The former 2 piece POHL (pronounced "pole" but the band say you can pronounce it however the fuck you like) from Bristol UK, follow up their debut "POHLSMOKER" with "POHL II" and this time they have a third member on board. Original members Will Pearce (guitar/vocals) and Jamie Thompson (drums) are joined by Hugo Morgan (bass) of The Heads and the fruits of this new alliance come in 3 blazing slabs of big fuzzed and low toned jams driven along by quick fire drumming with expertly crafted songs that show some surprising twists and turns.

First track "Cute Guy Alert" is a more straight forward jam than POHL's previous output. With a thick but very catchy riff, tumbling drums and memorable lyrics, this is the kind of song that gets stuck in your head for weeks after hearing it. This opening track could almost be classed as 'stoner-pop' but its the weight and grime of the riff that gives this track just the right amount of dirt to cause a screw-face while head nodding along to this brilliant opener.

"Eraser" follows with the same big bass and guitar crunch as before but with a distinctly more 'desert' style groove that takes a big leaf from early QOTSA or even Kyuss' "..And the Circus Leaves Town." The dreamy, floaty style of lyrics drift hauntingly over a chunky riff and some pleasing guitar lickery gives this song a welcome psychedelic edge about half way.

Final song "God Save The Queen (High On Death)" opens with the British national anthem played softly, I assume with tongues in cheeks, much as when The Melvins would be apt to play the American national anthem during their live shows. The Brit anthem soon turns to POHL's own words almost whispered until a big hit of throbbing fuzz hits you and those quiet words are now called out loudly. The song is a slow burner that simmers with sparse moments of plucked bass and stepping drums that set the tone for a guitar solo that adds colorful psychedelia to an introspective mood to this slow mover. The Brit anthem then returns but with POHL's own version of the words which list a few popular knock out prescription drugs until a solo bass gently leads this track to its end.

"POHL II" is yet more great stuff from POHL and now with an added bass player their sound takes on a thicker dimension but the song writing and delivery is still as brilliant as was shown on their well received debut. I've heard POLH play live a few times and they always slay with a very tightly played set of grimy and low fuzzed 'stoner-pop' and contemporary heavy grunge/alternative metal. Donate generously and receive POHL's great work from their Bandcamp right now.

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