ORGAN THING: PoiL’s new album Sus, holymerde this sounds good, prog as flip…

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PoiL

PoiL – Sus (Dur et Doux) – Falling down the stairs in such an awkwardly neat way, everything landing where it should and nothing out of place, this is deliciously hard-boiled progressive rock, progressive in all senses, forward-looking musically challenging proper prog rock for those who don’t want it to be predictable and polite, nothing “neo” here. PoiL have surpassed themselves, we kind on knew they would, we expected lots, PoiL haven’t let us down, they’re a band who like to challenge themselves as much as they like to challenge anyone else. Actually, some of it sounds like it might be coming out of a monastery, a very hard-boiled French monastery mind you, lots of corners and angles and mathematical equations in there with the spiritual cleansing and strange sounds, PoiL are from Lyon, there’s something in the water in Lyon, it feels like there’s a challenging prog rock band around every other corner, this new PoiL album is as prog as flip, it comes fused with punk rock energy in that way Henry Cow and the like were – don’t tell me the two don’t mix, is there anything more socially aware and punk rock than Get ’em out by Friday and You don’t get paid ’til the last one’s well on his way?  Crass were a prog rock band, Genesis were a punk rock band for a time back there, PoiL are as radically challenging as either of them at their best, listen to that fat fat keyboard warp right there and that skipping and don’t ask me what time signature the music is in, I don’t do the counting, she does. PoiL are just about as (proper) prog rock as it can get without ever falling completely over the cliff of pretention while tripping over themselves (not that that would e a bad thing by the way), no, PoiL are always so beautifully accessible, this is easy listening, they’re right up there with those Flying Luttenbachers or Cheer Accident or Cardiacs or dare we say the best bits of Gentle Giant? Never too hard-boiled, PoiL know that “difficult” music needs to breathe, that sometimes, for a minute or two, less is so much more, PoiL just know how to do it properly.  Not sure what they’re singing? Most of it I assume is in their native tongue? Actually the Frenchness adds to it all, holymerde this sounds good! Whoooo, that start to Grèu Martire is foreboding, falling up the monastery stairs this time, there goes the kitchen sink, but it all falls into place again, PoiL always make perfectly constructed musical sense, none of this is accidental, these clever abstraction, each note considered, eacj sound with a purpose, nothing is unnecessary, this is lean, nothing overcooked, some of it is very religious in the broadest sense, chamber music. Okay so that bit about four minutes into the fourteen that make up Chin fòu might have got close to being a tiny bit self indulgent, but no, there nothing here that doesn’t need to be here, every note has a purpose, every sound a proper place and hell, you don’t need music reviews now, you needed them back in the last century, there’s the bandcamp link, go listen for yourself, then go order the album, it sounds twice as good when you have the actual CD on your actual CD player and the cover and the art in your actual hand. Holymerde again, this really does sounds so damn good, prog as flip, the real deal, PoiL haven’t let us down, we never for one moment, thought they would. Aller…  (sw)

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