Volume 92, Issue 40

Friday, November 13, 1998

listening or hearing


London indie bands labelled

By Nina Chiarelli
Gazette Staff

For those who contend the local music scene in London to be second-rate in comparison to larger markets like Hamilton and Toronto, local bands P.O.M. and Florentine Cruise would beg to differ.

"Toronto sucks," explains Florentine Cruise guitarist and Entartete Kunst label owner, Jason Bellchamber. "The scene in London is really good."

Members of P.O.M. agree. The band is releasing its anxiously awaited first full-length CD, entitled Level Seven. After a notable performance on producer Bellchamber's Screw compilation last year, P.O.M. member King Pounds feels the band is ready to expand to a larger fan base.

"Our CD is out and now it's time to back it up. Our sound is strong enough to take us out there," he says. The band is confident P.O.M's sound and crazy stage antics could explode them upon the heavy-sounding United States underground scene. "We're devoting as much time as possible to our music. We want to take it all the way," says band member King Chibo.

P.O.M. has been around for about five years, creating music in one form or another. Originally known as the Lush Puppies, P.O.M. has been able to garner a strong following with a series of extremely intense live shows. King Fiend and King Sark, P.O.M.'s two other members, are hoping this Saturday's CD release party at the Forest City Gallery will be no different.

Opening for P.O.M. is fellow EK label-mate Florentine Cruise. It helps that EK Records owner Bellchamber is one of Florentine Cruise's guitarists. "There's an appreciation between our music," says Bellchamber, describing their layered guitar soundscapes.

Originally a solo project created by band member Patrick Gregory, Florentine Cruise was founded in 1996 with a self-titled debut CD recorded in Gregory's home studio. Further collaborations between Gregory and friend Christopher Girvan led to forming the trio of Florentine Cruise with Bellchamber.

Although the band's focus is more on lush guitar sounds rather than lyrical content, King Chibo explains the pairing of the two bands for Saturday's show. "There's an understanding between our music. We all like the same stuff and Jason wouldn't be putting us out unless he was listening to us as well."

While some fans of Florentine Cruise have likened their sound to trippy hits from the '70s, Gregory is quick to dispute the rumours. "We're not a psychedelic band," he points out. Citing technical limitations as the reason for a mostly instrumental recording, Girvan goes on to explain the philosophy behind the album. "We treat the lyrics more as an instrument," he says.

With two bands like P.O.M. and Florentine Cruise on the bill, Entartete Kunst is serving up nothing less than a truly eclectic offering from the growing London independent music scene.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazette.entertainment@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998