The Slow Poisoner, Magic Casket

The Slow Poisoner, Magic Casket

There’s a part of me that really, really wants to hate The Slow Poisoner’s Magic Casket. I’ve never been big on the whole horror schtick — the goofy, faux-serious Gothic lyrics, “creepy” vocals, and cheeseball B-movie samples, it always, always, always rubs me the wrong way.

I could never wrap my head around Goth in general, and bands that take mediocre rock and try to make it more entertaining by throwing all the horror-movie clichés at it just piss me off, mostly because they never succeed at camouflaging how crappy their songs actually are. I can see right through it, no problem.

And when The Slow Poisoner (aka one-man-band Andrew Goldfarb) starts off with the desperately weird-for-weird’s-sake spoken intro to “From the River Bottom,” all about how man should evolve back to being aquatic — because, um, it’s just better, I guess? — I cringe and shake my head, ready to dismiss the whole damn thing.

Luckily for Goldfarb, my reactionary sneer starts to fade as soon as the title track hits; against all odds, the man knows how to write a song. For once, the “creatures of the night” patina isn’t trying to cover up the flaws, but rather just serves to make the darned decent music beneath actually better.

I never thought I’d see the day, honestly, but there it is — I’m seriously liking Casket, especially the murky “Le Grand Zombi,” half-hysterical “The Shriek” (which does indeed feature a very nicely-done shriek), and the faux-gospel of “Thundering Fists o’ the Lord.” Then there’s the boogie-woogie cover of “Swamp Gal,” originally by Tommy Bell, and a fiery rendition of “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean,” which sounds less like a plea and more like a threat.

By the end of it, okay, I’m liking the heck out of this. I can’t claim I’ll be listening to it every day, mind you, but Halloween’s not that far off, and this’d do quite nicely to get me in the holiday spirit…

[The Slow Poisoner is playing 7/22/11 at Super Happy Fun Land, along with Rob Rippa, Clockpole, Muzak John, Will Schorre, & GMILF Defibrillator.]
(Rocktopus! Records; The Slow Poisoner --; The Slow Poisoner (Myspace) --
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Friday, July 22nd, 2011. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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One Response to “The Slow Poisoner, Magic Casket

  1. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Jolie Holland + Eels + The Submarines + Rock Baby Rock It + Slow Poisoner + More on July 22nd, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    […] Cramps-style horror-rock and Quintron-like swamp boogie and does it well. Full review on over here. Plus, I’ve heard good things about both Clockpole and Will Schorre, so there’s […]

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