Poison the Well - Tear From the Red (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Poison the Well

Tear From the Red (2002)


Florida's Poison the Well has a new record. Well, it's not that new, it's been out for awhile, but for the purposes of this review, let's call it a new record.

Anyhow, if you've been following the promotion of the aforementioned record a lot, you've probably heard a lot of noise about it's genre bending, and it's appeal to both the scary hardcore kids and the skinny cardigan-clad emo kids. I have to be honest that I don't agree with that assessment. Don't get me wrong, this is a good record. The metal bits are intense, and the melodic interludes are both spooky and catchy.

In a lot of ways, the dynamic of the album - which has been done frequently before, by bands like Planes Mistaken for Stars and Grade - is the real hook of the record. The biggest catch with doing the scream/sing blend is that typically, both parts suffer - the metal-tinged scream parts are too weak, and the melodic lines aren't really all that soothing. Thankfully, Poison the Well has really put together a perfect marraige of the two styles of music, as neither the heavy, nor the soft lack intensity.

But if anything, the biggest flaw in the album is the overall consistency of the song structure. With only one exception, the songs start softly, explode into a down-tuned frenzy, and bridge into a softer melodic line sung almost acapella style over a rhythmic guitar line. It's a good structure a couple of times, but it's more interesting when it's mixed up. It some ways, it reminded me of Thrice's Identity Crisis - another great record, somewhat flawed by repetitive song structures.

I don't agree that this will have the universal appeal some people in the Real Press(tm) seem to think, but if you're a fan of both spectrums of emotional hardcore you won't be disappointed.