Russ Poole ‘Face To Face’ EP Review

Russ Poole
Russ Pooles newest EP cover image.

There’s just not one shred of doubt when I begin to declare that there are some of us who just cannot express their set of emotions easily to other sentient beings. You’ve met these creatures before, I’m sure. Perhaps it’s a difficult task for most of us, but not for Mr. Russ Poole.

This singer/songwriter from Gloucester, has undergone this feat in his third EP entitled ‘Face To Face’. A fitting title for such an honestly portrayed record. By blending a sort of baroque-pop sound with some strong indie-folk guitar rhythms, Russ has created a sonic-atmosphere that gives the listener the impression of an artist in a truly self-reflective state. As a listener I can appreciate music that comes straight from the core.

In this neatly packed collection of some intelligently-structured songs, you’ll hear melodic electric guitars overlapping delicately plucked strings of a warm sounding acoustic guitar.

The first track ‘Take your time’ ascends slowly with this effect that follows the artist’s low registered-baritone voice. Throughout the EP, Pianos and backing vocals are cleverly used for ranging dynamics for some pretty hard-hitting chorus’s.

‘Better’ standing at track no. 3 demonstrates this factor perfectly along with another element that seemed to impress me. The use of falsetto vocals for the chorus. Sang with a precise emphasis on each note that lacerated out a sound that lightly touched on what Bon Iver has experimented with, which is by no means an easy way to sing.

The outstanding pin-sized thorn that dug into my side throughout this EP would have to be the drum track to blame. At certain times during low-fi stages of verses it sounded like a metronome was simply left on by a forgetful producer. This could have bothered me a whole lot more if it wasn’t for the final composition of Mr. Poole’s efforts.

‘Face To Face’ appropriately represents this musical venture in a number of ways. Musically and lyrically it sets the bar in relation to the rest of the songs. Words written so bluntly and delivered from the edge of the throat sends a few questions into the midst. Is this written for someone significant? Is this a message? These are the little mystery’s left for us to unravel. 

Given you’re in the right mood and your eyes are sealed shut, the startling impact of the electric guitars soloing in a glossy symmetry, wrapping around each other with some interesting overdubbed effects, will surely send some squirming vibrations throughout your waking body.

At first, it was hard for me to swallow some of my inhibitions on first-glance at this record. Inhibitions simply stemming from not listening to this in the right atmospheric setting or even the right mood. So go find your turtle-shell domain and listen with a clear, childlike mindset and you’ll certainly find yourself liking what you hear.

I can conclude that these sounds are not for those of whom that are de-void of all feeling in the pits of their soul’s, but if you’re one of those ‘deep’ individuals who likes to hear a haunting, striking voice discharging its emotional content for four minutes, then you should start following this guy around.

Russ Poole’s ‘Face To Face’ hits us online 1st February 2015.

You can find all his music on iTunes, AmazonMP3, Bandcamp and Spotify.

Visit him @www.russpoole.co.uk 

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