Poison Arrows‘ sheer amount of pedigree needs little introduction, but so much of it is near and dear to our hearts that we couldn’t really help it. Right off the bat, we have Patrick Morris, whose name ought to sound familiar considering his role in early Don Caballero. Yep, that’s Morris chugging away on seminal 1993 album For Respect.
“Not all albums have an immediate title track as you sequence it, and this one certainly did not at first. But as the lyrics and obfuscations of discussions happened, it was apparent, this was it. Even well before the pandemic-tragetory of the last two years.”
Morris’ distinct low end chunkiness can be heard immediately here, but that’s a nice little delay in the mix there too, isn’t it? It definitely lends to the sense of mantra the song imparts overall, focusing more on groove than playing too many thing at once.
“Above any song, this is the one I love to play the ‘absolute’ most on stage. As it has those really happy dance grooves. When Justin, Adam and I completely lock into that rhythm it feels great.”
But Patrick Morris is far and away from the only nifty trick in the band’s book. A wild Adam Reach of Pink Avalanche and Justin Sinkovich of Atombombpocketknife and Thumbnail appear. Oh, and both, by the way, play in Forever Era, while every member ALSO plays in Acquaintances.
“‘War Regards’ (as most of our songs) came from Patrick and I messing around, probably while Justin was tuning, changing strings, etc. I remember this quickly taking shape, and attempting a Doug Scharin / June of 44-esque ending…which never quite panned out, unfortunately! Easily one of, if not my favorite to play live. I’m playing parts of my old high school band (Hueytown, Alabama) cadence throughout.”
Adam’s drums are a big part of the single’s appeal, with vintage groove and frothing fills. It turns out Justin, or at least his coworker, is actually the one we have to thank for the song’s snarky title and overall narrative.
“The title comes from a co-worker accidentally signing an email to me “War Regards” instead of “Warm Regards” which I found to be a hilarious song title. I almost always start with the name of the song, form some sort of narrative, and then write the lyrics. “War Regards” meditates on the polarized dystopian society we were living in back in 2019. Who knew how much more of a spiral we would dive into soon afterwards… I even coincidentally refer to an “insurrection.” Once the theme of the song crystalized lyrically, it became a pretty obvious album title for us to agree upon as well.”
And we thank him for that. Or his coworker for that. He means it when he says meditates on the theme too. “War Regards” is most likely the album’s most serious, inward-looking cuts, despite it’s cool headedness. War Regards as an album, however, leaps out with that heavy Chicago-sound, and throws in a little post-punk crispiness around the edges. The recordings sounds great too, courtesy of Greg Norman at Chicago’s illustrious Electrical Audio studio, and they were mixed by Brian Deck at Narwhal Studios.
But the hype train doesn’t stop rolling here. Not today. The album’s brutalist artwork was done by David Babbitt, whose impressionistic pieces include bands like Calexico, Shellac, Pinback, and of course, Don Cab, in the past.
This whole damn heap of glorious-ness is topped off by the fact that it’s being released by the titans of tape over at Coup Sur Coup Records. You bet they’ll be some transparent neon, delicious snack looking little things when those guys get involved, and we’re all about it. File 13 is also going to do some vinyl. The band was previously involved with the highly regarded Touch and Go records – we can’t think of a better, more down to earth group of people to continue the journey.
By now, you should be getting the impression that you’re going to want to keep your eyes pealed for whatever’s coming next from the Chicago trio. 2022 is starting to shape up to be a beautiful sequel of sorts to the post-punk flare up we saw at the end of last year, and if The Poison Arrows and their fourth album are any indication, we have much to look forward to. You can check out their previous outings here on the CSC Bandcamp, and peruse their sweet collection of tapes on their Big Cartel here.