Philadelphia post-punk band Poison Ruïn have inked a deal with Relapse Records for the release of their new album Härvest, out April 14th. A video for the title track can be seen below.
The buzz surrounding the group is well-deserved, as proven by “Härvest.” The track offers a rare blend of lo-fi post-punk and classic SST hardcore, with the trebly vintage production evoking Hüsker Dü (both bands sport the umlaut, after all) and modern lo-fi auteurs Molechat Doma. Comparisons to ’80s deathrock/hardcore acts such as Christian Death and early T.S.O.L. are also warranted.
Meanwhile, the medieval aesthetics of the music video and Härvest artwork have more in common with black metal or dungeon synth. As singer-guitarist Mac Kennedy explained, the album’s lyrics and imagery rework fantasy themes “as a series of totems for the downtrodden, stripping it of its escapist tendencies and retooling it as a rich metaphor for the collective struggle over our shared reality.”
He added, “I’ve always found fantasy tropes to be incredibly evocative; that said, even though they are a set of symbols that seem to speak to most people of our generation, they are often either apolitical or co-opted for incredibly backwards politics. Instead of knights in shining armor and dragons, it’s a peasant revolt. I’m all for protest songs, but with this band I’ve found that sometimes your message can reach a greater audience if you imbue it with a certain interactive, almost magical realist element.”
It’s certainly working, with Relapse swooping up Poison Ruïn after the band’s self-titled 2021 compilation made the rounds in underground punk circles via YouTube and Bandcamp. In addition to releasing Härvest, the label is also reissuing that comp on April 14th.
You can catch Poison Ruïn live beginning next month when they head on tour. The route is built around two trips to Austin for the This Is Austin. Not That Great fest and SXSW. They’ll then play two additional April shows in Philadelphia and Brooklyn, New York, surrounding the release of the new album.
Pre-order Härvest via Relapse Records and see the artwork, tracklist, and full slate of tour dates below.
01. Pinnacle of Ecstasy
02. Tome of Illusion
03. Torture Chamber
04. Härvest (Official Music Video)
05. Frozen Blood
06. Resurrection I
07. Resurrection II
08. Augur Die
09. Blighted Quarter
10. Bastard’s Dance
11. Slowly Through the Dark
Poison Ruïn’s 2023 US Tour Dates:
03/03-05 – Austin, TX @ This Is Austin. Not That Great
03/06 – San Antonio, TX @ The Lonesome Rose
03/07 – Houston, TX @ White Swan
03/08 – Dallas, TX @ Double Wide
03/09 – Tulsa, OK @ Whittier Bar
03/10 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sister
03/11 – Tempe, AZ @ The Beast
03/14-18 – Austin, TX @ SXSW
04/13 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
04/15 – Brooklyn, NY @ Meadows