On 5th May, Poeticat will release their debut EP, ‘Smash The Floor’. Their earlier singles have already been met with stunned descriptions ranging from “genre-defying” to “completely original”, “brilliantly surreal, “compelling” and now they return with their twisted genre-defiance stretching even further.
Hailing from London and Lisbon, Poeticat are a truly unique proposition; fusing the thought provoking lyricism of Catherine Martindale with the experimental vocal harmonies of fellow European Theatre Arts graduate Ziggi Jadovski. This alone creates something very original. Now add a surreal and captivating genre-bending melting pot which is given an overwhelming sense of roots and power with the phenomenally warm bass lines of Ivo Ramalho formerly of Worldly Savages. Taking the band in another direction is percussionist Victor Meadowcroft on drums who pulls in from Latin American music and African rhythms bringing it all together in a loose yet fluid journey while the prowess of guitarist Baj Kenrick reaches into the songs, burrows under the skin and adds another twist, with complex metal guitar riffs and melodies that call upon Testament to Metallica.
Their live shows have seen a packed out crowd observe and engage with these leading lights on the experimental and progressive rock circuit; fans have dressed up, painted their faces, chosen sides, been all things, squeezed themselves into the room despite all weathers and had an actual lyrical input to a new song for each show. This is the true alternative spirit that is so much missing in the current musical climate.
An eclectic blast of influences, ‘Smash the Floor’ ranges from art-rock to progressive and experimental rhythms and melodies to powerful riff rocking and poignant political lyricism. From the opening of the playfully gentle and ethereal post-punk jangle of ‘Jetty’ to ‘Centre of the Concrete Square’ which careers in as a hefty experimental punk slab of socialism, it becomes an engaging journey. The melancholic’ Rest Reprise’ falls in two parts, one showcasing Jadovski’s beautiful vocals tip-toeing around Martindale’s remarkably vivid narrative ability whilst the second half is an experiment in musical eclecticism of searing guitars, new wave electronics, worldly percussion and warm bass lines. ‘Kind Words Soft Kill’ breaks straight out of Diamond Dogs era Bowie and final track ‘3rd Arm’ continues to surprise; a riff-rocking guitar, crushing bass parts, hypnotic percussion, otherworldly vocals, headstrong and surreal lyrics, doomy backing vocals and all wrapped up in something completely captivating; progressive in the truest sense.
If you like spoken word then you will adore this EP. I have been a fan of Poeticat’s style of music for quite a while and this 5 track record is simply amazing. There can be comparisons with Kate Nash but I can also see similarities between Poeticat and both Brigitte Aphrodite and Laura Dockrill. Each of the 5 tunes had been well crafted and the lyricism completely captivated me.
I have been lucky enough to preview this before the 5th May release date and I must admit I was simply amazed as there is not a single bad track on there. It was Centre of the Concrete Square followed by Jetty which were the stand outs for me. For Jetty the vocals started off haunting then the beat got heavier. Plus you had the sound of seagulls, sea and the creaking of a yacht. Jetty was in fact fast flowing and there were some really impressive riffs. Centre of the Concrete Square was about life on a council estate and I could pick on traces of Kate Nash. Rest Reprise is one that will grow on you and Kind Words Soft Kill has a haunting chorus plus you can hear waves in the background. Things end with 3rd Arm which is the current song to be lifted from this incredible 5 track. Now this was entrancing and sounded a tad punky.
All in all if spoken word is your thing then give Poeticat a listen to. What I like is the fact they are different. Even though they have been together for quite a while, spoken word in form of a song is something you rarely see. Yes you have Kate Nash who has done a few spoken word songs, Brigitte Aphrodite and even Blur during the Parklife stage. I am eager to hear more from Poeticat in the future.
Centre of the Concrete Square
Kind Words Soft Kill
27th April – Bar Solo , London
10th May – The Canteen, Bristol
17th May – The Lamb – Lewes