Love Poet – with For Love Not Lisa at The Rat – Review

Love Poet

with For Love Not Lisa at The Rat
by Scott Hefflon

It was Love Night at the newly-painted Rat. Love Poet and Atlantic’s For Love Not Lisa. Love Poet unpretentiously introduced themselves and began playing their passionate, Pearl Jammable set. Immediately the crowd began to sway. It was very stimulus-response. It was an unavoidable reaction that caught and spread from the expressive singer to each member of the audience, and through the nervous systems of every individual present. There was a definite mood created by the smell of clove cigarettes, the subtle, trippy light show, and the heavy chorus/reverb on the guitar.

The singer took a personal, storytelling approach and shared a chorus with a cluster from the crowd. It was only the words “Hold On,” but the feel of multiple voices just seemed to pull everyone together. The guitarist proved to be adept and controlled. He created a solid rhythm with the bassist (who started a mock scratch-yer-eyes-out riot when he tossed his shirt into the crowd) and the drummer, and played extracurricular soloing only when appropriate. He even used a violin bow (and well, I might add).

Love Poet proved to be versatile in shifting the mood from hurt to hope to that which underlies it all: the soul. Their delving into the mystical and spiritual was authentic and, at times, eerie. On the same wave as OLD Gene Loves Jezebel and certain Bong Water creations, they wove each element into a texture, or mood, and transcended it. At one point during a song called Thief, Faith, FiFi or something, they wound down in the middle of the song until all was respectfully silent… They stared at their feet for an elongated moment… Then they launched into a double-time explosion that would make most hardcore bands sit up and take notice.

They ended with the crowd pleaser “Witches’ Loft,” a song that is truly an artistic composition. The first half had no words, just suggestive “Ahs” and sighs in harmony and layered with guitar. The drumming became tribal and woodsy. I’m not entirely sure of the Celtic or Salemesque influences of the band, but it was genuine, thoughtful, and moving in its presentation. The song is not on their current demo, but rumor has it they’re going into the studio this month to record a follow up.