The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Poor
Round 1

It’s been a while since the Poor threatened to break out of Australia and do what bands like Airborne are doing now. It was just a case of bad timing, rock music was at an all time low and despite the quality of their early releases eventually The Poor were out of the picture. Shame, I saw these guys a few times around Sydney and they were a great live band who could certainly give the young upstarts of today a run for their money!

So what do we have here? Round 1 – sounds like the title for a debut, or a band that are coming back fighting. And actually it really is rather good.

‘Kill My Faith’ is a great song, full stop. AC/DC party rock done very well. It pretty much lays down the template for the album as far as this being a no-nonsense no frills rock and roll album. However stylistically things do get pretty interesting here, it’s not just all heads down stuff (no matter how well those songs are executed). ‘Death of Me’ that follows just backs up the opener – almost throwing down the challenge – we do this and we do it well.

It’s when we get to ‘Last Laugh’ that we start to see another side to The Poor. Yes we know that they can knock out a good AC/DC riff, and unlike some they do it convincingly but what more can they do? This is part of the answer. For those of us who first saw them when they were the ‘Poor Boys’ playing the pubs round Sydney it’s gratifying to see how far they have come. ‘Last Laugh’ is cool stuff, has some lovely slide guitar, it’s infectiously catchy and shouts ‘hit’ if only bands like The Poor had the airplay.

‘House’ is great fun, the lyrics are wonderfully silly and the guitar is spot-on. It has party-song written all over it (and is almost Blur-like in a good way). ‘No One’s Home’ that follows is another great song and the pair might even be considered cool by the alternative rock set.

‘Prisoner of Fools’ is a more straight-forward proposition and perfectly acceptable but not the best or most interesting thing on offer here. ‘Don’t Know What You’re Missing’ is mellower, a great idea but doesn’t seem fully realised here as is the B-Side ‘Love Isn’t on Again’ – both great ideas but with a bit more work who knows?

The album is rounded out with three demos ‘Guardian Angel’; ‘Can’t Feel a Thing’ and ‘Goodbye’ The first is a nice funk-infused workout; while ‘Can’t Feel a Thing’ feels like a leftover ‘Goodbye’ shows promise.

When you think the tracks here were recorded over nine years it’s a little hard to get real perspective. What do the Poor sound like now? If it’s like the first few tracks on the album we may see them burn brightly again. Hard to Tell, I just wish I was in Melbourne or Sydney over the next few days to find out…