A Familiar Poison

Hardcore was huge in Miami in the late 1990s. The city was the birthplace of a whole army of groups considered among the genre’s best – Morning Again and Shai Hulud often show up on top 10 lists – but none of them became as influential as Poison the Well. Back in the group’s salad days, guitarist Ryan Primack would wow folks with his guitar chops at the classic punk venue Cheers in Miami. Primack had jammed in a bunch of local punk and hardcore bands on the scene – including Coral Springs’ pop punkers Last Minute – but folks always whispered that he was destined for more than small town glory. In the years since, Primack, along with vocalist Jeffrey Moreira and drummer Chris Hornbrook, have cemented Poison the Well in hardcore cannon, releasing four full length albums that each received heaps of critical praise. (Their first, The Opposite of December, is widely considered one of the greatest hardcore albums of all time, having been placed on Guitar Magazine’s list at number eight.) Perhaps that’s because listening to a PTW record is like hopping into a car with a raging schizophrenic: The double-barreled beat of Hornbrook's drums; Moreira’s highly energized, highly emotional wails; Primack’s crunchy, prog rock- and blues-influenced riffage. The group split from major label, Atlantic Records in 2006, opting to release their latest album Versions on Ferret Records in 2007. Now the Miami boys are headed for a homecoming – they’ll be playing along with The Chariot, Dance Gavin Dance, and Crime in Stereo this Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Culture Room (3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale). Tickets cost $12 and are available at www.ticketmaster.com.
Fri., Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m., 2008
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John Linn