Poi Dog Pondering

Pomegranate Records/Bar/None Records, 1995


REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


A few years ago, I found a CD by this band in a bargain bin and it has to be one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard. I’m talking atrocious and abysmal. This band began in Hawaii and then moved to Texas, joined the hippie culture there, and made some awful records for Columbia. Then, when that scene dried out for them, they were dropped by Columbia and band leader Frank Orrall made his way to Chicago to try and adapt to the growing dance scene. Hitching your hippie band to a dance wagon seems strange, but the band tried its best.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The opening title track is a nice slow build and it works well because they’re not trying too hard, except lyrically, but that’s gonna happen with this band regardless. “Catacombs” is a nice ballad, but then the album falls off the rails with the almost African tribal feel of “Complicated.” That fell off quickly. Let me be frank: this is not a dance band, nor should they ever try to call themselves that. They are poseurs and wannabes who latched themselves on to the next big thing only to see it not help them in the slightest.

“Sandra At The Beach” is not a dance song and it helps the song come across a lot easier than it would have if it had been with loaded with dance beats. The less said about a song called “Shu Zulu Za,” the better off we all are. Eighties Paul Simon these guys ain’t.

By the time you get to the six-minute album closing instrumental, “Al Le Lua,” you’re ready to turn the thing off. If this had been an EP of the slower, non-dance songs, it would’ve made for a more compelling record. Trust me, this is the last record by this band that I will pick up in a thrift store to try out. I will spend my quarters on more deserving bands.

Rating: D+

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