Album Review

Poem Rocket – “Invasion! ” – [Atavistic]

Daryl Licht   10/25/2007   A Library, CD

Poem Rocket is a long-running NYC-based project led by the duo of Michael Peters and Sandra Gardner. ???Invasion!??? is their first release since 2000 and contains two discs, each of which focuses on a particular aspect of the group???s sound.

Disc 1, which is subtitled ???A Parade Of Vigilance???, features 10 tracks of gorgeously recorded, acoustic guitar-based pop, often augmented with little lysergic touches such as droning synths, miscellaneous percussion, and various loops and samples. Personal favorites included ???Underwater???, ???The Keeper???, and the disc???s one sonic outlier, the densely layered dronescape ???The Ocean As Itself (Reprise)???. Disc 2, which is subtitled ???The Abdomen Of Memory???, contains 9 tracks of pop-rock that I found to be very reminiscent of the kind of material that was quite popular within certain softer circles of the international underground in the early 1990???s as represented by such diverse labels as Creation, Sub Pop, Too Pure, and so on – a pleasant blend of simple drums patterns, rumbling bass lines, distorted guitar chords and jagged, multi-effected electric leads, and tasteful keyboard treatments. Highlights from the second disc included ???Sound Byte Hit??? and ???Pulse (I Hope You Dream Something)???.

When listening straight through, I found that both discs tend to be a bit sonically monolithic. Perhaps, some editing (like taking the strongest tracks from each disc and combining them into a single disc) would have yielded a more dynamic and higher quality final product. Still, there’s enough solid material on these two discs to merit adding this enjoyable, but far from innovative, album to the KFJC library.

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