The Poison Arrows " Newfound Resolutions "

On the surface, Chicago’s the Poison Arrows sound cold and mechanical, exhibiting an almost robotic precision that’s damn well uncanny. But then you press your ear a little closer and things start to unravel. Harmonies peek their heads out from behind corners; melodies creep along slowly before bursting unexpectedly into view.

Former Don Caballero bassist, Patrick Morris, anchors the music, his jarring, off-kilter bass lines coiling themselves around Adam Reach’s thunderous drums. Ex-Atombombpocketknife front man, Justin Sinkovich, provides the voice, his wiry guitar and abstract keyboards coloring the oftentimes bleak atmosphere with flashes of sonic radiance and bits of textural noise. It’s beguiling stuff, that rare breed of music that can lull you into a trance even as it’s punching you in the gut. This is indie rock for the thinking person — smart, decisive, calculating — but with an indomitable hardcore punk spirit raging at the center.

Standing at over 70 minutes, Newfound Resolutions can be an overwhelming listen. It’s dense, dark, difficult. But if you stand back and allow the details to seep in, let the album work its considerable magic on you, you’ll find that for all of its tension and tightly-wound intensity, there’s a whole lot of beauty to be discovered as well.


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