The Poison Arrows
Biography from 2010:
The Poison Arrows are from Chicago IL USA and are
Patrick Morris (ex Don Caballero): basses, loops
Adam Reach: drum kit, percussion, piano on “Tranquil Eyes”
Justin Sinkovich (ex Atombombpocketknife, Thumbnail): guitar, keyboards, vocals, drum machines, percussion
Brian Case: (90 Day Men, Disappears, Ponys) additional vocals on “Interpretive Hunter” and “Steely Justice”
Eric Chaleff: (Bloodiest, Follows, Sterling) additional guitars on “Tranquil Eyes”
Mia Clarke: (Electrelane, Follows) additional vocals on “Popular Look”
Pall Jenkins: (Black Heart Procession, Three Mile Pilot) additional vocals on “Unveiled in Sequence”
Tony Lazzara: (Bloodiest, Follows, Sterling) additional guitar on “Unveiled In Sequence,” a drum kit on “Popular Look”
Basic tracks recorded at Electrical Audio Studio A by Greg Norman
Overdub recordings by Justin Sinkovich at The Plaza
Mixing by Justin Sinkovich
Mix and production navigation by Tony Lazzara
Final mixes and editing by Greg Norman and Justin Sinkovich at The Plaza and Greg Studio Greg
Mastering by Roger Siebel at SAE Mastering
A mere fifteen months after the release of their acclaimed debut LP First Class, and Forever (May of 2009, File Thirteen Records), Chicago’s The Poison Arrows follow up with a more ambitious sophomore album Newfound Resolutions. Even at over 70 minutes, this second album was completed in a fraction of the time of their first album thanks to their growing experience as a band, and real-world thematic inspirations. Let’s face it, the past year or two have been challenging for most. Members of Chicago’s The Poison Arrows are no exception enduring a number of unthinkable dramas better interpreted within the album’s lyric liner notes rather than explained here. So Patrick Morris, Adam Reach, and Justin Sinkovich did what most friends do in such dire circumstances, they sat around listening to records and talked it all out. There also happened to be a recording studio in the basement full of instruments where they expeditiously wrote and demo’ed their new album.
As The Poison Arrows did with First Class, and Forever, the band then went into Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio Studio A with engineer Greg Norman to record the basic tracks. Album two was then overdubbed at Justin’s basement studio The Plaza where a series of close friends also contributed guest appearances. It was then mixed at Justin’s house and Greg Norman’s home studio.
Some songs on Newfound Resolutions include up to four bass guitars and three drum sets, yet the album is far cleaner and more live sounding than the first. Patrick Morris’s now-signature bass playing is more unorthodox, intricate, and inspiring than ever. Adam’s thunderous drumming is something to behold, performance-wise even beyond the last album, and captured so well by Greg and Electrical Audio that not a single effect or EQ was used on the drums. Justin’s keyboard’s and guitars are his most abstract, melodic, complex, and well constructed. Lyrically each song addresses past drama or the process of reconstituting normalcy. Every track was completed as a chapter in an overarching tale of lives falling apart, then reconstruction, then reflection, and finally a vow to move forward, thus the album’s title Newfound Resolutions. Fittingly Sinkovich’s vocal delivery tells the story more broadly than before ranging from his more typical cold, swaggered, surly, Baudelaire-inspired recitations like on “Interpretive Hunter” to a new more fragile spaced surrealist despair as heard on the opening track “Flawed Acumen.”
The Poison Arrows have now played with the likes of Battles, Boris, Bellini, Black Heart Procession, Holy Fuck, Polvo, Department of Eagles, Enon, Thalia Zedek, Born Ruffians, All the Saints, Cadence Weapon, Dianogah, Shipping News, Cursive, Young Widows, Night Marchers, Grand Duchy, Bottomless Pit, Retribution Gospel Choir, and many more.
The band has also been featured in dozens of publications worldwide including Alarm, Blender, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reader, Consequence of Sound, Rcrdlbl, Time Out Chicago, Sonic Dice, XLR8R, Prefix, Washington Post, and Leo Weekly.
Alarm Magazine (feature) - “Fired with the snap of exceptional musicianship and raw emotion.”
Blender Magazine (feature) - “One of ‘Ten Hot Artists’, chosen by the editors of Blender Magazine.”
Chicago Reader (feature) – “You have to ask yourself why they would want to move toward the light when they do darkness so well.”
Prefix (album review) - “First Class, and Forever combines all of what made Trans-Europe Express and Songs About Fucking classics without sacrificing anything, be it ethics, art, or lifestyle. It’s a virtually flawless album that accomplishes all its goals… if you’re a music nerd who likes smart rock ‘n’ roll that doesn’t cater to trends, this album is essential.”
Time Out Chicago (album review)† “The Arrows encompass everything that was great about their previous acts: an intricate, propulsive rhythm section; challenging yet immediate melodies adventurously wrangled out of the muscular flexing; and, when it comes to disheveling song structure, a fuck-it attitude.”