tHE POLES recently went through a lineup shift. Bassist Matt Gentling (Archers of Loaf) joined the band for its previous release, Twelve Winds, but after his departure this year, they reformed into a trio with original musicians — front man Todd Lemiesz, bassist Bruce Rogers and drummer Jon McDuffie. The resulting self-titled four-song EP is a focused collection of straightforward rock underscored by forceful lyrics, power chords and crushing percussion. But there’s also a sort of dark beauty that emerges from the gloom and weight of the album. The track “cHEAP TRICK” displays a compelling melody and up-front vocals. “I’ve got a lot of empty clothes in my house, I’ve got a lot of empty spaces on walls, I’ve got a lot of things to figure out, just to make it out,” Lemiesz sings. And, just before the distorted chorus, there’s a chord that suggests, just for an instant, The Cars’ “Just What I Needed.” (Listen to “cHEAP TRICK” below.) While tHE POLES are nowhere near the hooky pop neighborhood of the Cars (seriously, this is not the disc to play at your pool party), there is an immediate accessibility and driving energy (these are the songs for a long drive) that recommend this EP.
The Poles return to the LAB on Thursday, August 5. 8 p.m.