Poor Michael are a young three-piece from Maidenhead, they’ve already gained backing from BBC Introducing and have played alongside the likes of Tail Feather and Broken Hands. Hearing this initially peaked our interest to go and investigate the band further. Recently releasing the second EP of their EP trilogy – “Poor Michael (2 of 3)” – it’s a head turner, for sure.
Well, I have to raise the looming presence that’s staring us right in the face – the artwork. I can only describe it as an unsettling feeling. I mean toddlers are generally not something I would associate with a feeling of unease but what Poor Michael have given us is something of a different beast. It’s something that’s meant to upset our ideals of how we see things, to disrupt our thought patterns and to loosen the mind, you might say, for the psych-heavy rock that follows.
Artwork aside, this EP shows a band with a lot of promise. Moving on from their first outing, Poor Michael have found the right path. Sonically moving into new territories that they hadn’t visited before. This EP establishes the band’s intention quite clearly giving us a brief invitation into their world. Lo-fi noise-rock and driving rhythms reign proud against the somewhat hazy psychedelic drone that rampages on throughout ‘Hamster Lady’.
Stepping up to the mark, we are thrown into ‘Invisible Man’ an aggressive melody driven psych romp that slithers and slides in an attempt to penetrate your mind. Further ramping up the animosity, Poor Michael delve deeper into a fuzz-toned hell raiser of a finale. Yet it never looses its charm and strong melodic pulse, an achievement in itself to show refrain and not let the track descent into just pure noise.
‘Fox In Heat’ uses the straight-forward formula of amped up guitars, furious drums and a groove laden melody. It’s just enough to send us into a moment of disarray sinking deeper into Poor Michael’s menacing, sonically ruthless world.
As we head into final track ‘Into The Unknown’, we are met with a unusual bout of silence, as the guitars creep in quietly and slowly, the atmosphere is set. Keeping our minds alert and focussed on the growing progression of the subtle instrumentation and vocal intensity. As predicted we are treated to a brutal onslaught of fizzing noise as the track draws to a close.
Poor Michael have proven their worth with “Poor Michael (2 of 3)” giving us a masterclass in execution. It’s defiant beating heart is pure and honest, the raging riffs are delivered with conviction, while still keeping that much needed distinction between melody and noise in mind. We are given just a glimpse of what this band are capable of, EP 3 will determine the outcome.
Track Listing: 1- Hamster Lady, 2- Invisible Man, 3- Fox In Heat, 4- Into The Unknown