The nightmare continues. Last summer, Pozi’s 176 EP came out just as the coronavirus pandemic was offering us its first false dawn. Fast forward twelve months and another devastating wave later, we’re still a disorientated, shell-shocked mess; moving once again towards normality, but with the energy-sapping tension of continued restrictions. A grimly perfect time then for the south London three-piece to return with new EP ‘Typing’ on PRAH Recordings.
You can link themes of anxiety all the way back to drummer/vocalist Toby Burroughs, violinist/vocalist Rosa Brook and bassist/vocalist Tom Jones’ 2019 LP PZ1. It’s in the music of their wire-pulled-tight post-punk, which has always been gripped with tension; and it’s in their lyrics, whether they’re trying to avoid the dull glow of phone addiction, dealing with social anxieties, or addressing national-scale scandals such as the Grenfell tower tragedy.
On Typing, that sickly discomfort is once again prominent: Sea Song becomes increasingly suffocating with Brook to the fore, her refrain of “feel the rising tide” closing in around the listener as her violin cuts through the gravelly atmosphere.
The five tracks here reflect another stage in Pozi’s evolution. Since coming out of the gate they’ve been a bristling, frenetic presence, toeing the line between dissonance and pop sensibility. As the 176 EP was a refinement of what they did on PZ1, Typing sees the trio becoming yet more comfortable in their relationship as a band and increasingly confident in how far they can push their sound.
Typing isn’t a lockdown record, but it has been informed by it. More importantly, though, it’s yet another significant step forward from a band who’ve so far felt like something of an underground secret, despite being championed by BBC Radio 6 Music and in various places by contemporaries such as Sleaford Mods, Squid and Sports Team. Once restrictions do finally lift, that may no longer be the case.
It's fascinating to see how Shaw's vocal delivery has changed from this record to their proper debut. She plays a multitude of characters, with dialogue and all, and the poetry is much more vulgar here. Steven Moses