Atlanta, GA; Self-proclaimed hip-hop Capital of the world. Why do I mention that? Well, because I recently found a band from that area who are doing their best to shift the focus back to the rock side of things. Sure, Atlanta has given the world acts like Usher, Cee-Lo Green, Outkast, Ludacris, T.I., TLC and even Soulja Boy, but there’s also a pretty strong metal scene there too. Bands like Sevendust, Mastodon, Attila, Woe, Is Me and newcomers Issues have used Atlanta as a launching pad to their careers.
Somewhere in between all those acts falls POYNTE. With a more modern rock sound, tinged with hardcore elements and strong melodies, POYNTE has created a sound that feels familiar, but somehow fresh. Devoid of the clichés that hinder so many, POYNTE’s music has substance and depth to it, while keeping things accessible to the masses.
The album opens with what sounds like a hidden message, which is titled Discreet Enemy. It’s reminiscent of the old espionage trick called a numbers station, where agents would listen in to secret codes on their transistor radios. It’s kinda creepy, but it’s kinda cool at the same time. Looking at the artwork, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see it unlock something at some point.
With this music, things that are prominent crutches for some acts, such as screaming vocals, are present at times here, but in moderation they’ve become simple, subtle accents to the sound that POYNTE has created. Take the opening track Take Control for example. The track starts with a massive scream that may turn away a few ears at first, but the band quickly settles into a great groove that fits like a glove. As I said beforehand, it feels familiar, but fresh and it’s a quick kick in the gut to show you who they really are.
POYNTE – Take Control (Lyric Video):
After the moody, dynamically layered Picture Frames, the band once again kicks back into overdrive with what should be a single titled Hold On. This track is a great representation of the band, and I’ll say with certainty that if you like this song, you’ll love this album. The energy is high, the message is positive and the music is badass. What else could you want?!
Next up is Aberration. It’s quite possibly the simplest song on the album, but with it’s Tool-esque undertones, it creates a pallet that allows vocalist Kenny Hathorne to deliver one of, if not the most singable choruses yet. In a Kurt Cobain kinda way, the simplicity works.
After the blistering, adrenaline-filled Erase Me (one of my favorite tracks by the way), the band takes a moment to show us that there is indeed another side to them. From a storytelling aspect, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a song more well-written than Nursery Crimes. It’s a story of tragedy that sees the loss of a young life, discarded by what is obviously a terrible family. The song is heartbreaking. The lines that haunts me most are, “With her frozen eyes that you left for the world to see. When a child lies in a criminal’s nursery. With her silent cry for the rest of her life she screams. When a fire dies in a criminal’s nursery.” So chilling. So strong. So perfect. Add in my favorite solo on the record and you have the total package.
POYNTE – Nursery Crimes:
With the next track, Coping, you get the added electronic side from POYNTE. The driving guitars, the screams and the huge sounding drums make for one of the heaviest tracks on the record. The part that stands out the most for me though, is the totally unique and completely unexpected gang vocals at roughly 2:35 into the track. Believe me when I say this, if this were available on a cassette, I would’ve already worn out that section of tape, as I would continually be rewinding it. Great freaking tune!
After seven tracks, one of them has to suck….right? WRONG! The hits keep coming like nobodies business. If this album were a boxer, it’d have Muhammad Ali written all over it. What Will It Take comes in like something that Benjamin Burley and Breaking Benjamin wishes they’d written and goes out with its hands raised in victory. A real barn burner and a track that you’ll continually be revisiting.
The next two tracks are the ones that can and should put this band on EVERYONE’S radio. First up is the song that is completely different than anything else on the album. The track is called The Villain and it has mega-hit written all over it. Not so much a duet, as it is a match of dueling vocals, The Villain is absolutely captivating in every sense of the word. The structure is unrelenting and with guest vocals from Sami Michelson of Alchemy, the band once again broadens their horizons and delivers a song that should launch them into super-stardom. If you’re looking for a song that can dominate radio soon, look no further than The Villain.
The second song I alluded to previously, Last Embrace, only needs two words to describe it. Holy. Crap. That should be enough, but I’ll elaborate! From the electronic intro, to the pummeling guitars, to the balls out chorus…I simply can’t get enough. For me, Kenny Hathorne gives the vocal effort that you felt he was capable of from the first note you heard him sing on Take Control. It sounds as if it takes everything in him to deliver it, but it’s not at all forced. It’s my favorite vocal performance on the album, hands down.
The last track is the pretty little ribbon on this perfect package. A cover, though not one you’d expect. No, POYNTE chose the unconventional route and created a heavy as hell tune, layered with the melodies and lyrics of the massive pop hit, In My Head by R&B artist Jason Derulo. That’s right, a metal pop song. I don’t know about you, but I kinda like the idea of that.
Overall, I really feel this band has written something amazing. Is it timeless? Only time knows that answer, but I’m willing to bet there is substantial staying power. As a new artist, it’s rare to hear a band that truly knows who they are and I believe that’s exactly what you get with POYNTE. A band that firmly grasps their identity and explores the soundscapes that few know how to reach. If you don’t know this band, you will!
Unsung Melody Score – 10 out of 10.
Preview Discreet Enemy below: