Before the little bird goes south or Some Ordinary Vision: a love letter to Iowa’s Poison Control Center (the band)
These guys are romantics, and it shows, but they make it work. They sing of love and loss, longing, and hope in the ways that few do that reach me. There is no cloying insincerity or tossed aside happenstance. The PCC mean it, and it shows in all aspects of their music. This band couldn’t phone it in if they tried.
Take for instance ‘Magic Circle Symphony’ (off of 2007’s Collage Of Impressions).
The rousing chorus of “Love, love is the answer, until you get cancer, then you are lying, dying, dead … oh please sing what I just said” is a ding dang ol’ monster.
The raucous’ Some Ordinary Vision’ off of this year’s Stranger Ballet? An incredible anthem of a rocker.
So that’s the deal: you have three (sometimes four) very different songwriters all furiously writing songs in their unique voices that comes together for the better good of the band at large. I could opine for pages about exactly what I love about each one, but I’ll spare you. It’s an audacious move, but one that works very well, with very little fat on the songwriting meat,
Many of the themes of their records tends to focus on the estrangement and distance that they have from their loved ones. Not surprising considering the near itinerant lifecycle they’ve created for themselves. One of their “never-ending tours” consisted of: 264 shows in a row! The ‘slacker’ mentality so often associated with indie rock? Yeah, not here.
The thing that really gets me is how good they are vs. how many people even know they exist. That needs to change. And it needs to change now. They are the kind of band that makes me want to get a heralding trumpet with a banner on it that says: PCC. And just play that small little bridge hook from ‘Pacific Sunrise’.
Yeah, the one right before the part that makes me want to leap into the car with my girl and drive to the ocean to watch the sunrise just because I can.
The PCC are exactly the kind of band that is needed right now. They will make the old fogeys work harder, give the young ’uns some much-needed comeuppance and do it up right. When they’re singing, I believe every word. Am I biased? Absolutely. My own band has played with them before, and will play with them again. They are the kind of band that makes you play harder and try harder to be your best, the kind of band that pushes everybody to just be a little better, and isn’t that what it’s all about?
Any squalid talk of the death of rock and what not can fuck right off. The Poison Control Center is a force to be reckoned with and this should be recognized now. I cannot put this simply enough. Why? “Because we are all stars, stuck in our dreams, but together it’s the greatest movie I have ever seen.”
Time can take its toll on passion, and even heroes can get tired. Recognize The Poison Control Center for what they are, something incredible that is happening right now. Learn of them, love them and bask in the glory, because they aren’t the kind of band that comes around all the time.
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