Poino - Bon Ick Voyeur

by Andy Brown Rating:7 Release Date:2014-06-24

Poino’s twisted, Magic Band-fed-through-noise-rock sound wouldn’t be out of place among the bands that set the American underground rock scene alight back in the 80s and early 90s. This record is propelled by the same spirit of DIY madness which made acts such as Butthole Surfers, Truman’s Water and Nation of Ulysses so thrilling.

A more contemporary context would find the band sitting comfortably next to early Gringo Records signings such as Bilge Pump, Spin, Spin the Dogs, and Lords. Yet it’s legendary noise-merchants Shellac who cast the largest shadow over Bon Ick Voyeur. It’s actually surprising to discover that the band are from South London as singer, Gaverick de Vis screams, slurs and howls his way through the record like a particularly manic Steve Albini.

Opening track, ‘Bird Trick’ combines panic-laden riff-work, ever-changing time-signatures and Gaverick’s surrealist rants to ear-bleeding, head-spinning perfection. It’s certainly not your standard rock record, flitting between ideas and riffs with a restless, ever-driving determination.

The Shellac influence is particularly prevalent on second track ‘Special Wrong’, with the band locking into an impenetrably tight groove. Ross Blake lays down a Bob Weston worthy bassline, while the guitar parts twist, turn and explode in every direction.

The band's loose approach to song structure certainly demands close attention; on first listen the whole thing sounds utterly chaotic. Yet, the bruising riffs present on tracks such as ‘Ienod’ and ‘Lazy Biotic’ are hard not to love.The band are incredibly tight, displaying a knack for semi-psychic synergy and improv-influenced shenanigans which puts them slap-bang between genius and insanity. Perhaps the best place to be.

If only to confuse us further, the album concludes with a thoroughly beautiful piano and strings instrumental piece which exudes a surprisingly stately magic.You just can’t pin these Poino boys down.

Like all the best jazz records, Bon Ick Voyeur requires repeat listens before it’s free-flowing, roller-coaster ride starts to make even the slightest shred of sense. There’s not much verse-chorus-verse comfort to be found here. You should persevere, though, dear listener, as when the penny drops you’re going to find it difficult to stop listening.

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