The Poison Arrows counts ex-members of Atombombpocketknife and Don Caballero in its ranks, but there’s not much of either band’s sound, urgency or invention on Straight Into the Drift, Poison Arrows’ debut release as a three-piece. Opener “Lockaway” is promising enough, layering a dark post-rock guitar chime over treated drum tracks, snaky bass lines and drugged vocals. Bilingual spoken-word mingles with Sonic Youth guitar jams and dark atmospherics in a meandering arrangement that drifts in and out of focus but always heads somewhere interesting.
The same can’t be said for the next three tracks, which achieve an impressively sinister ambience but never coalesce into anything memorable. It doesn’t help that Justin Sinkovich’s vocals are amelodic to the point of annoyance or that the ridiculously named “Making Sense of Making Cents” wastes Pat Morris’s fantastic bass playing on a groove that goes nowhere slowly. There isn’t room in a twenty-four-minute four-track EP for filler, and unfortunately Poison Arrows offers only amorphous shadows of songs on three-quarters of Straight Into the Drift. The disc begins as an intriguing mystery but I quickly lost interest in trying to solve it.