Independent release, 1999

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


I'm a music enthusiast, so that means I'm willing to give various genres and styles I'm either not used to or not a fan of a try. Through this process, I've discovered a love of some forms of world music - forms that, in all honesty, I never would have tried to listen to if it weren't for this job.

But one form of music I've never been able to develop a taste for is the ambient kind of alternative music that groups like Cocteau Twins made a career out of writing and performing. I go into those discs with an open mind, but within a matter of minutes, I'm ready to make a run for the door. I'm sorry, but I have yet to hear a group that performs this particular genre that I like.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The independent band Pox, unfortunately, falls into this category. Their self-released CD Fin was a disc that, quite frankly, I couldn't stand. Halfway through the disc, I was almost in tears, knowing that I still had another 22 minutes of musical nonsense to plow through.

This seven-piece group often focuses on music that doesn't necessarily have to resolve; often, it sounded like the guitars, bass and drums were each playing different songs at the same time. Doug Ackman's vocals (along with Thymme Jones and Danika Prochaska) often sounded muffled, and needed to be brought out more in the mix. As weak as the vocals were, however, I have to wonder if re-mixing would have helped at all.

And if you're looking for deep political messages in songs like "Still Sorry About China," forget it. Frankly, on songs like this, I couldn't decipher a damned word. (By sending an e-mail address to the band, you can get the lyrics sent to you... but I have enough issues with this disc anyway.)

Tracks like "Thoughts Into Insects," "A Sea Of Upturned Faces" and "Yen Pox" all make a strong argument against Pox; unless you're a fan of this type of experimental, rules-out-the-window music, the only thing this disc is going to inspire in the listener is nausea.

What saves Fin from being completely worthless are two tracks, "Depo-Provera" and "Daktari Stool," which have at least some semblance of musical craft in them to make them listenable. I can't say that I'd like to make these two songs a regular part of my musical diet, but they were the lone bright lights in a muddied picture.

Fin reminds me of abstract art; only the people who dress weird and talk in non sequiturs will get any of the meaning behind this disc. For the rest of us, it's best to leave this headache-in-a-jewel-case alone.

Rating: D-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1999 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Independent release, and is used for informational purposes only.