Poison Ruin smash it out of the park on their debut full-length, Harvest, which merges heavy post-punk, grotty punk, and deathrock, to create an exciting hybrid that easily sets them apart from run-of-the-mill, post-punk, and punk bands treading the boards these days. It lives up to, and exceeds, all the pre-release, hype. They are for real, and they are creating some very thrilling music.
But, it’s just not the sonics on the album, that set them apart, vocalist/guitarist Mac Kennedy, uses medieval and fantasy imagery, to tell stories that are relevant to our day and age. This isn’t escapist fare. More a way to use metaphor to shine a light on the injustices and indignities of our modern society. It’s a unique approach that works quite well for them.
“Pinnacle Of Ecstasy” opens the album with cinematic synths and the sounds of birds and battles, giving way to high energy post-punk, played with the utmost urgency, including a ripping solo toward the end. This won’t be the last time those synths make an appearance on the album, which douses it in a layer of foggy gloom. (It also must be noted that drummer Allen Chapman and bassist Will McAndrew make for a tight rhythm section. Their playing pushes the music forward which allows Kennedy and guitarist Nao Demand to go wild. Their guitars just sound raw, grotty, and insurgent.)
“Tome Of Illusion” and “Torture Chamber” sport faster tempos, while the title showcases the aforementioned synths again while creating a rip-snorter of a tune. “Frozen Blood” slows down a little before sprinting to its end.
“Resurrection 1 & II” are two interconnected songs which form a more sustained take and what they do so well. “Resurrection I” starts off with synths, then goes fast, which leads right into “Resurrection II,” which continues the themes laid down on the first song with more killer guitar accents and mini-solos before settling into a mid-paced tempo for its finish.
“Augur Die” is short, fast, and thrilling, while “Bastard’s Dance” mixes up tempos to great effect. “Slowly Through The Dark” ends the album with a cinematic instrumental that merges epic synths, with blown-out guitar to create a nice comedown from the nervous energy that permeates the rest of the album.
Harvest, is an auspicious, full-length debut that announces the arrival of a major new talent to the world of all things punk rock. It is some of most exciting new punk rock you will hear all year. It will be interesting to see where the band go from here, but regardless, they have created a stone-cold classic with this album
Just get it already.
Buy Harvest here.