reviewed by Jack Derricourt
The Poolhall Riots are as vicious as they seem.
These Halifax bruisers of indie pop have put together some dashing tunes in the shape of their new selftitled EP. Five songs of literary references and crisp production await all ye who enter.
The sounds are an interesting mix. On certain tracks, Justin Sellen’s vocals are distorted and compressed to Strokes proportions, while the rest of the band often sounds so close to the ear it’s eerie. It’s a layered effect, making for good listening, setting the music and the words against each other, even while they’re working together to build up a delicate melody, as on opener “Pulling Shapes.” Then on others, like “Roman Candles,” the layers switch places, with Sellen up front, and the band playing off in the background somewhere, gritting up the horizon. It’s a fun change of landscape all over the recordings.
The album holds many little tid bits, but I have to say that the apeing of Thomas Hardy on “Far From Any Madding Crowd” is my favourite. UFO guitar parts in the chorus and an infectiously funky bass part feed into the driving, blurbing lyrical lines of the very personal direction of the song. It’s everything I love about good pop and I tip my tin foil cap to the lads for their very articulate phrasing of classic structure and techniques on this one.
Some nights, all you need is five good songs to reassure you that the world is doing alright. These might just be the songs you need to hear, out of The Poolhall Riots.
Top Track: “Far From Any Madding Crowd”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)