Volume 93, Issue 59

Friday, January 14, 2000


Weekend Pass

Stillborn comes to life

Rock in the P.O.M. of your hand

The idiot's guide to good theatre times



Rock in the P.O.M. of your hand

Gazette file photo
FREDDY DRUGER AND INDIE ROCK, TOGETHER AT LAST. Local indie band P.O.M. bring their unique hip-hop/jazz/funk sound to the Embassy tomorrow night.

By Luke Rundle
Gazette Staff

Trying to pigeonhole London metal band P.O.M. into one specific genre is an exercise in futility.

The four piece group draws from virtually every musical genre under the sun to create their original sound, including hip-hop, jazz and funk. Though often compared to other fusion bands such as Korn, Limp Bizkit and Sepultura, P.O.M. insist they're interested in carving out their own musical niche in the modern local soundscape.

"I just really can't think of a band off-hand that sounds anything like we do," says P.O.M. lead vocalist/guitarist Fiend. "I think we've taken our own twist on all of our influences and created our own sound that's completely unique from everything else that's out there."

This original sound has created a quick but lasting impression.

Though drummer/vocalist Pounds, bassist Sark, guitarist Chibo and Fiend only have three years as a collective under their belts, the release of their '98 debut, Level 7, earned the group a diehard following in the London area and has prompted the prodigious indie label Sonic Unyon to pick up their distribution rights.

Fiend says he thinks the band reaped the most rewards from the new record on a grass roots level. "Before Level 7, we'd do shows and nobody would come out, just because they hadn't heard of us. But as the album began to get out and more and more people started hearing it, we began to get bigger crowds every time we came out – and now the crowds just go nuts."

Plans are currently underway for the group's anticipated follow up effort, scheduled for release in April. Although recording guru and Sonic Unyon main man Rob Sanzo has committed to working on the project, Fiend doesn't think the end result will sound like a typical Unyon release.

"I think he's just gonna make us sound really good," he flatly contends. "I don't think we'd ever fit in with the Sonic Unyon sound, but we're bringing along our [Entartete Kunst Records] producer Jason Bellchamber when we go to work on the new album in about a week. He really was the one that found our sound, so maybe he can help Rob in working with us."

Tentatively titled Surface to Air, the new album promises even more alterations to their sound. "So far, we've written seven new songs, but who knows how many more will be on the album. I guess we'll figure it out when we get into the studio," Fiend says. "I've also added a digeridoo sound sample to my guitar panel, so a lot of the songs will probably have that weird reverberating sound to them throughout."

Surface to Air's most integral addition to P.O.M.'s sound is its improved group dynamic. "We've learned to really play our instruments," Fiend confesses. "We did Level 7 after being together only a year, so we've finally learned to play really well together, with a lot of complex stops and breaks and different vocal patterns."

In order to better hone and perfect their stage performance for dates in the summer, the group plans on remaining low-profile until the album's release party in April. If P.O.M.'s hope of their new album opening up mainstream doors comes true, all the extra practice may pay off.

"What we'd really like to do is sign with a major label that can help us put out a full-length album and put us out on the road on tour," Fiend says. "I think we're just sort of hoping for something like that to happen."

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