Album Review | Schmooz Records | Review by Marc Higgins | Stars: 4/5
Punch is the eighth album from The Poozies and the first since Eilidh Shaw and original Poozie Mary Macmaster were joined by Tia Files and Sarah McFadyen. Opening track “Punch” is a building fiddle tune, full of spark and rhythm. The addition of McFadyen means that two and sometimes three fiddles weave and dance together alongside Files’ strident guitar and that stomping beat. It sets up the album nicely. Mary Macmaster’s Gaelic vocal and an atmospheric fiddle feature in the hauntingly beautiful Ailein all drifting mist after the swirling stomp of the opener. “Bloodknot” sets some often surprisingly spiky fiddle parts against Tia Files insistent guitar part. Two fiddle players on one track often creates some interesting sparring lines. “Soaking” uses Sarah McFadyen’s distinctive Orkney burr to tell a humorous tale on this Country flavoured track with moments of real beauty and farce. Isobel uses those perfect Poozie vocal harmonies to create real beauty and charm. “Knees of Fire” is another twisting tune, starting on Files guitar and the gloriously fat bass sound of Mary’s Electro Harp with the twin fiddles joining. Anais Mitchell’s “Wedding Song” sparkles through its treatment by The Poozies with otherworldly bent notes and weirdness from the Electro Harp, beautiful vocal harmonies and moments of dark Psych Folk. Album closer “Easily Led” is a passage of measured pleasure with those distinctive Andrews Sisters honey vocals and the gentle accompaniment of the harp. A lullaby to end off a real punch of an album.