POW review By Dave Howell Special to The Morning Call

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POW review By Dave Howell Special to The Morning Call

Post#1 » Fri Nov 13, 2009 2:15 pm

Local Soundtrack: 'Peace or War' by Pokerface a political statement in hard rock
Categories: Music, Music News, New CDs
Posted by Jodi Duckett at 05:12:28 PM on November 10, 2009

Pokerface review of cd By Dave Howell Special to The Morning Call
http://blogs.mcall.com/lehighvalleymusi ... rock-.html

Twenty years of making music has not softened Pokerface’s music or its lyrics. Far from churning out the usual banal relationship and partying songs, this rocking foursome concentrate on politics, which are libertarian to the max. As the group sings on “It’s Not What You Say”: "I'm not a Democrat or Republican/I'm just a God loving American/It's time to kill this Fourth Reich of the Rich."

Pokerface’s Web site states the band has "made it their mission to expose the lies & scandals coming out the union's capital" and "look into the conspiracies and cover-ups committed by a government that serves the agendas of money hungry elitists that control the world, hell bent on domination of the human race."

There is a goofy brilliance on “Peace or War: Songs for the Revolution,” and I mean that as a compliment. In a time when so many bands sound alike, these guys are following their own road.

The first four and last two songs sound like a heavier but less grungy version of Pearl Jam, for lack of a better description. Paul Topete’s vocals soar over metal-inspired guitar, bass and drums. The middle of the CD has slower and more melodic tracks that feature acoustic guitar and flute emulations.

At some points the lyrics are hard to understand, which usually does not matter in hard rock and metal (and sometimes it is an advantage). You do not want to miss the ones on "Peace or War," however. For example, the CD begins with: “You, and your greedy ways are coming to an end. And I have been waiting for a millennia of time. You think the wars you wage will never end. And I am the conscience that scratches at your evil mind.”

One of the "high" points on the CD is "Grassoline," a fairly relaxed outing celebrating America's favorite herb, with the repeated line, "Please take the wheel, I'll let you drive." The sound of a horn section adds a nice touch here. The previous song is "I Wanna Get High," so I guess we can take these guys on their word.

One song, "Area 51," is about aliens who are living in tunnels until "someday they will be unleashed, upon humankind." Another anti-establishment manifesto is called "Please Help Me God Out Of Here."

You might think these guys are pretty far out, although the way the world is now, it is getting harder to say what is crazy and what is the real truth. No matter what, the music is sincere and powerful.

Pokerface is actually a misnomer for this group, since it does not hide what they feel. If you are into hard rock and metal, or would just like something different, you should check these guys out.

A CD release party is scheduled for Dec. 19 at Lupo's Beef & Ale, 2149 Reading Road, Allentown. 610-820-5570.

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