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POD - When Angels And Serpents Dance

POD, When Angels And Serpents Dance

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2.5 out of 5

WHEN Angels & Serpents Dance, the latest studio album from POD (Payable on Death), is designed to be the release that helps them reclaim their place atop the rock scene – more so since it features the return of guitarist Marcos Curiel, whose presence helped 2001’s Satellite (featuring Youth Of A Nation and Alive) to go triple platinum.

It’s certainly a rock monster, produced by Jay Baumgardner and featuring collaborations from the likes of Mike Muir, of Suicidal Tendencies, The Marley Sisters and Page Hamilton of Helmet. But as good as the occasional track can be, the album presents an odd mix of Christian-influenced hypothesising and heavy-heavy riffs.

Songs like God Forbid, which lead singer Sonny describes as the band’s heaviest to date, is head-poundingly loud to the point of irritating, squandering entirely the presence of Page Hamilton, while album opener Addicted seems to be trying too hard to recapture the rock-rap form of bands like Rage Against The Machine.

One can imagine the album generating a huge following States-side, where its amped up power rock enjoys a bigger scene, but it’s a little too one-note and extreme to really offer the wider appeal that helped Satellite become such a huge success.

There is the odd song that hits, though. It Can’t Rain Every Day should strike a chord with English listeners just for its name alone, but emerges as a terrifically bluesy recording that leaves you pining for more. The chorus is made for singing along to.

Kaliorn-Eye-A is a guilty pleasure kind of Rage Against The Machine rip-off, while The Marley Sisters bring a welcome reggae vibe to the radio-friendly I’ll Be Ready, and there’s plenty of angst-ridden message making (“what happened to peace here on Earth”) on the angry, even gospel-tinged The End Of The World.

Final duo Tell Me Why, which begins from a bed of strings and maintains a pretty decent touchy-feely vibe, and the riff-laden Rise Against, bring the album to a pretty satisfying/rousing close. But while POD do seem rejuvenated and benefit from the return of Curiel’s guitar wizardry, they needed to do a little more to shake-up the formula, which is beginning to sound old.

Download picks: Kaliforn-Eye-A, Rise Against, I’ll Be Ready, It Can’t Rain Every Day, Tell Me Why

Track listing:

  1. Addicted
  2. Shine With Me
  3. Condenscending
  4. It Can’t Rain Everyday
  5. Kaliforn-Eye-A – Pod & Mike Muir
  6. I’ll Be Ready – POD & Marley Girls
  7. End Of The World
  8. This Ain’t No Ordinary Love Song
  9. God Forbid – POD & Page Hamilton
  10. Roman Empire
  11. When Angels And Serpents Dance
  12. Tell Me Why
  13. Rise Against