Posers - Posers, too [EP] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Posers, too [EP] (2016)

self released

Posers’ second EP, the playfully titled Posers,Too, finds the band amplifying the aspects introduced on their debut record. Like their self-titled 7-incher, there’s still a salute to the classic ’77 era of punk and power-pop. But, where the band once paid tribute to those classically aerodynamic guitar lines, here, the serrated edge is starting to show.

Take a look at “Exist” and “I don’t wanna know.” Both of those songs still have that Mick Jones/Paul Weller jumpiness. But, this time, as the songs cascade to their apex, instead of coming to a concise conclusion, the band fractures with the guitar distortion shattering into white noise, lead singer Jade Anna shredding her voice, and the bass doing an Amphetamine Reptile smash.

Guitarist Rory Cain has an affinity for the early stuff, but wisely, he’s deviating from that structure more than ever before. The inherent skeleton of the classic punk song are still in these five tracks, but now that they spin out of control sometimes, the band has hit the sweet spot between rocking and being threatening and that’s exactly where a punk band like this should be. Bassist Johnny Mick, much like Bill Wyman, knows not to try to overshadow the guitar, and instead works with it- you don’t really hear his presence too much- and that’s why he’s masterful. He’s the guy really giving the band a backbone and you don’t even know it.

Nicely, they turn out another winding epic track with “Mannequin,” which starts out with a whisper until it builds to a volume 11 freak out. You need both solid songwriting and little bit of Keith Moon style craziness to really pull that off and the band has ample amounts of both skills.

Speaking of “Mannequin,” Jade Anna is growing both as a performer and songwriter. She’s classically trained and while some rock/punk singers with that pedigree abandon their past, Jade Anna flips between learned, controlled singer and a Penelope Houston shout. Of course, this makes the release that much more exciting- will she sing? Will she shout? Will she growl? So few singers really embrace perhaps what is punk’s greatest strength- the oblong vocal snap- Keith Morris, HR, John Lydon, Ari Up all would change their inflection in a spastic rhythm, but so few of their follows were daring to careen off the safe path. Jade Anna swerves between the safe and undisciplined, and it is dynamic.

Likewise, she keeps the wry humor from the earlier release. She’s still frowning at people inside the punk scene and out, and boy is it nice to see the “Cool” scenesters really get sized up. Look at how they dismantle the hallowed punk protest song with their acidic “Just another protest song.”

But, this time, where she really shines is when she reflects inward- “Mannequin” with its vague “you remind me of a girl I used to know,” could be about the singer, or someone else, or no one. Here we have soul bearing that is intriguing, but not cloying. It’s not an easy feat, but damn, does Jade, and the rest of the band make it seem that way. So many artists only look to themselves or only look outward (especially in anarcho punk). So, the band elevates themselves by having dual perspectives.

It’s easy (well sorta) to have one kick ass record. But, two in a row? Eight out of ten bands stumble. Posers not only don’t stumble, they’re walking more assuredly than ever. How ironic that this newfound confidence comes through on a record where they seemingly let themselves go. Put out an album already. It’s time.