Not too often do you come across a band who don't easily fit into a genre. Seven piece Brightonians Pog have all the classic components with Guitar, Drums, Bass, but with Clarinet, Violin, Keyboard and Accordion, this ensemble merges a myriad of styles which over the course of this 10 ten track album 'Little Trophies' they continue to push the boundaries of the broad and often misunderstood Folk/Punk genre.
Opener 'The Gutpunch, Then The Kiss' lulls you in as it alludes with a gentle Clarinet and Violin introduction and for the next few minutes becomes a tale of a love for the complexities, pitfalls and unexpected humour of life set to a rousing and catchy melody throughout the song.
'Home Movies' follows with a story of growing up embarrassed with lack of understanding of your family who like to take videos of you in your youth and finally seeing the positive side of watching these home movies together. Throughout this album Pog like to take social commentary to another level. Taking inspiration from Anarcho-Punk, detailed, imaginative and often dark subject matters paint pictures of disillusionment, gentrification and letting balloons off in the countryside.
Title track 'Little Trophies' is a standout point on this record. A lively waltz about promiscuity to impress one's peers. It's easy to think that this seven piece would be fighting for the space on this record but the instrumentation feels as if this is a collective band effort, rather than a front person who has brought the songs for the band to learn their parts. With catchy melodies and more one-liners you can shake a stick at, the title track is pop perfection.
As this album continues with 'The Architects', detailing gentrification in their home town to even more catchy Accordion melodies and rumbling bass lines more akin to a 'typical' Punk track. 'Three Bridges' follows with its disco-feel rolling snare beats. To pin Pog down in a genre is very tough. Throughout the album's final fanfare 'Rage', an anthemic inspirational closing track portraying a collective awakening to the cruelties of Tory rule, building to a powerful crescendo of the seven piece in full flow, I realise that attempting to find Pog a genre is not what it is about. Hooks a-plenty, diverse instrumentation and arrangement with intelligent lyrics that keeps the listener reaching once more for the lyrics sleeve and listening to the album once again.
To call Pog quirky would be disingenuous. Whilst many bands and performers wear their influences proudly or imitate their contemporaries, here is a band who effortlessly evade being pigeon-holed, and do so quietly and with confidence. Well worth a listen or two.
|Principal Edwards Magic Theatre: The Works 1969-1971||Jane Cassidy: Silverbridge|
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