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Poem Rocket

New York-based noise-rock trio Poem Rocket falls neatly into a noble lineage of arty, cerebral rock bands to emerge from the Big Apple, including The Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth, and Blonde Redhead. Like all of the aforementioned outfits, Poem Rocket possesses an uncanny ability to give dissonant, difficult noise a certain harsh beauty. The noise begins with a high-pitched lacerating guitar that rips through every song like angry wind. It's complemented by a deep rolling-thunder bass and heavy, forceful drums. Singers Sandra Gardner and Michael Peters sometimes sound like they're behind the wheel, at others like they're hanging on for dear life. The group layers these primary elements with a fully loaded post-rock arsenal of extra weapons: endless tape loops, distorted violin, piano, extra percussion, and more. They end up with often violent compositions that possess the peculiar beauty, complexity, and mystery of a midnight thunderstorm.

The trio first emerged in late 1994 with their debut single, "Period (punctuation or the amount of time required for a cyclic movement to occur)" b/w "Flaw," quite explicitly announcing their ironic literalism and overall brainy approach to rock. They went on releasing singles and EPs throughout the '90s. Their first full-length was '98's Infinite Retry on the Parallel Time-Out. The dense, angular "Appeal to the Imagination" comes from 2000's Psychogeography.

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