Mike Witmer will be contributing to the site from time. This was his initiation. Enjoy!
Welcome to my very first album review for Moments In Sound. Being a long-time friend of the site’s Captain and Mastermind, I raised my hand and begged to take part. Foolishly, I was handed the assignment of reviewing a record or two from time to time. I apologize in advance if the opinions hurt anyone’s feelings (not really). I will do my goshdarndest to provide constructive, helpful insight into the music captured here.
Let’s dive into my bag of goodies and talk about some rawk! Today’s record: Discreet Enemy by Poynte. Hailing from Atlanta, this hard-hitting outfit churns out unapologetic modern rock with equal glimpses of fury and restraint. Sure, the term “modern rock” can sound cliché and a bit vast but I have trouble putting these guys into a genre. They’re not metal. They’re definitely not pop. Poynte falls perfectly into that frontier of music that inhabits the multitude of X-Rock stations throughout America.
Discreet Enemy is a collection of 11 very well-produced tracks (and one goofy intro segment… but you can forward past that). Seriously, the album’s producer deserves a pat on the back. The record sounds great! I’m in love with the fluidity of the harmonies on nearly every track. Josh Fulcher and Jake O’Donnell lay down a thundering, rock-solid foundation for the rest of the band to throw fisticuffs over. There are moments throughout Poynte’s second full-length release that sound a little too familiar (more on that later). But please don’t get me wrong… there are TONS of sweet spots on Discreet Enemy for the listener to walk away satisfied.
“Take Control” comes screaming out of the gates firing on all eight cylinders with an urgency and admirable passion. Singer Kenny Hathorne commands attention, asking, “will this be the end?” as if demanding his band’s validity and survival.
I was pleasantly surprised by “Nursery Crimes” too. I saw the title and groaned, immediately imagining a Staind-esque “I hate you, Daddy” song. Instead, Poynte delivers a melodic rock anthem that shows both Matt Bryant’s and Brett Davis’ guitars on point (no pun intended).
There are bright flashes of greatness that pop up throughout the album. Moments reminiscent of the stuff that make bands like Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet For My Valentine so appealing and powerful. Check out “Hold On” if you want to know what I’m talking about.
However, there are a few moments, while far and few between, that stray into the arena of other bands that almost feel guilt-ridden. “Erase Me” could easily find its way onto any Breaking Benjamin album and no one would bat an eye. I’d be willing to bet that these moments were more of a desperate plea for record label attention.
With that in mind, I’m not sure why they buried “In My Head” at the end of the record. It’s easily the most radio-accessible tune of the collection. Sure, it’s a Jason Derulo cover, but it shows a sense of humor and some levity in the midst of the more serious tunes.
All-in-all, Poynte’s Discreet Enemy will sound great blasting out of your car stereo. If you’re an avid fan of hard-hitting melodic rock, give Poynte a listen. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.