Review by Montrez Rambo:
Poison Ivory's debut EP, "The Filth" is a good way to introduce herself to the world. The EP has a loose story, held together by clever lyrics, a mild production and very emphatic singing.
The EP opens with the song "Sex Is a Weapon". The thing that stood out most was the strange production. The heavy electronic track is a good choice, and one that suits her voice well- though it sounds rather bunched together from beginning to end. The vocals were bright and girly with a careful attention to detail which I can't complain about. The lyrics though are quite clever. It's not just a mere sex song, but one about using the act to get into someone else's head. Someone quite corrupt as it is (Law Enforcement??).
The second song on the EP is "Mr. Wonderful", another misleading song that seems to be about meeting a wonderful guy... but no! It's a song about how people in higher power tend to keep those of lower status oppressed while looking gorgeous, suave and clean. It details how corruption could come in the prettiest package. However, the song could be taken as otherwise. The production is quite mellow, if a bit hollow, but goes well with Ivory's voice. She delivered bright, reedy vocals full of emphasis and details to make her message stand out.
It is followed up by "Lil' Piece of Heaven", a song detailing a troubled relationship (one that can be left to the imagination), with a partner that is incredibly entitled andwho refuses to let anything go in any other way except their own. The production for this song is really mellow and just the right balance. The vocals retain the bright girlishness, but gives way to a griminess that suits the song well. Again, Poison Ivory has an ear for detail and a subtle way of placing emphasis on lyrics to deliver her message well.
The fourth song on the EP is "The Blues". Vocally, this song is her most showy affair. She goes for a fragile, melancholic approach here. She delivers another keen song, filled with carefully placed emphasis, balanced with some fairly raw vocals. The head voice is bright, smooth and quite a contrast to the coarseness of her modal register. The result is a song about succumbing to societal/economic/class pressures and the sadness living under these circumstances creates. The production is percussion and harmony heavy and it does a great job making the song probably the most lasting on the EP.
Lastly and least is "Alchemy". The production was wonky, the repeated "Alchemy" line is grating, and the song feels like it drags a bit. However the verses are smooth and filled with the same conning as the rest of album. The attention to detail here is kind of muddied by the repetitiveness. Nonetheless, she displays some vocal surprises here. The last song definitely was the weakest on the EP.
Conclusion: The EP had some great moments and some A-class lyrics. The vocals were not anything impressive on a technical level but the voice is nimble, able to switch registers easily, has a very sensitive vibrato and an attention for detail which by far is her strongest suit. Poison Ivory knows exactly how each lyric should be sung and what she should deliver. Despite the underwhelming production and grating voice, the two standouts , "Lil' Piece of Heaven" and "The Blues" make this EP something worth listening too.
[Itunes link to The Filth]