Angry Art Punk For The Masses
The first time I heard Too Many Poets was at a gig in London. My band were the first on and was pretty much playing to the other bands. Too Many Poets followed us; they killed it, and have done ever since.
‘Relying On Reflections’ their first EP (released earlier this year) quickly established their sound as an intense, dark, gothy(ish?), technical, and surprisingly brutal take on art punk. ‘Tough on the Tightrope’ takes the pre-established sound and stretches it further in every direction. The title track covers serious ground in it’s under 2 minutes 48 seconds run. Starting almost like a lullaby as Pog’s vocals croon over the wilting guitar. Suddenly it explodes with breakneck fury, becoming a violent assault which emanates from every member’s instruments.
The slightly slower pace of 'Pig Society' and 'Ornaments' gives the chance to appreciate 'Tough on the Tightrope’s' nuances and finesse. The intricate guitar lines, the lyrics, string arrangements, and the unnerving sense that behind all the instruments there is a sinister hum from something raw and unhinged. The sense of anger in this EP is shown throughout, from the lyrics and their delivery, to the howling feedback of guitars. Even the production it’s self seems to be wrought with anger, creating a dark storm cloud over the tracks that refuses to let any light through.
All in all this is an amazing release, made even more so when it was all done DIY in their drummer’s basement. Every part of it has something to make you fall in love, especially for fans of the more underground scenes from the past 40 years. The only low point’ being ‘Only My Illusion', a track which brings calm to the latter half of the EP but doesn’t go anywhere quick enough to satisfy straight away. However I’m putting it down as a grower rather than a blemish in the otherwise brilliant track listing. Too Many Poets have created a very sinister sound with this release but is still welcoming enough to entertain the more casual listener; much like the loner kid at school with the long fringe. You’re always scared of them but then when you get paired with them they actually turn out be rather fun.
There is a scene developing in their hometown of Witney for superbly crafted out-there rock. With bands such as: Lucy Leave, Drore, Basic Dicks, and Slate Hearts. TMP arguably lead the pack, with two amazing EPs and riotous shows to boot they are surely destined for greatness or the very least a devoted loyal following of which this reviewer is already part of.