EP Review: The Poison Arrows – ‘I Can’t Quite Get Organized’.

There’s some cool coming out of Chicago. It’s abrasive, it’s messy, it verges on lo-fi, it’s cohesive by its lack of cohesion. ‘I Can’t Quite Get Organized’ is tight-fitting title for an EP that’s made out of forgotten cuts, re-made demos and lost hard drive nuggets.

But it all sounds like part of one project. That loose thread of mess keeps the tracks tied together, it’s refreshingly brittle and coarse. Sonic Youth, Swans, Lungfish, FACS, they share parts of same DNA.

The title track leads with a petulant synth, with petulant vocals to boot. One runs tight underneath keeping pressure and pulse, while the voice is distorted and sneered. Drums come through like a rattle of live-room recordings, there’s something close to The Fall in the scuzz. Discordance, stretched structures, a rough mid-tempo buzz, there’s an audio bliss for the melodically nonchalant and for those who don’t much care for pop.

And from here on we hit remix city. Not for version after version of the same track repeated, but for lost and found sonics dug out. Let’s be glad that these lost things got found, there’s a joy in these tracks like the first.  

Peruvian Mountain’ (the Acucrack remix) is a rinse of strings and electronic modulations that trips with a Primal Scream swagger. If ‘Evil Heat‘ was the template, then this is the offshoot that freakishly wigs out and thrills. ‘Casual Wave’ keeps the same ugly agro, digging deep in electro and glitch. Both these tracks are unmistakably indie, from a time before indie got idle.

Elsewhere we get close to relaxing. Maybe a little too close on occasion. But the EP’s closing track, ‘An Unexploded Dream’, hits the right sides of pull back and push. It’s tough, thick produced, with breakdowns that last until lifts get forgotten, before ramping to slab drums and squeal. We can almost hear Drahla in its washed gothic noise, before all slips and slides out of bounds.  

With four albums before this and more on the way, this release might be just a place keeper. But if this is our intro with wealth either side, then let’s call this cool kick to start.