PHOTOS/REVIEW: Poison Ruïn Record Release Show at Johnny Brenda’s

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WRITTEN/PHOTOS BY: Will Kirkpatrick

Philadelphia dungeon punks, Poison Ruïn, celebrate their second full-length record, Härvest, at Johnny Brenda’s, featuring local act Blank Spell, Richmond-based Invertebrates, and Montreal rockers Puffer. Between their busy week at SXSW and before they set out on a European tour, they return to the city of brotherly love for a beautiful night of heavy riffs, fantasy themes, and a few failed stage dives. But all the sore necks and bruises from the night are all for the love of music.

The show’s openers, Blank Spell, played for the first time since 2019 and delivered a quick fast energetic set. Fast is the best way to describe the night. Either the phrase “time flies when you’re having fun” rings true or the fast heavy hardcore tunes just let time melt away. Invertebrates kept the train rolling and Puffer tee’d up the ball for Poison Ruïn to hit a stinger right down the fairway. Puffer’s songs “Suffering” and “Live N Die in the City” are great through the headphones and even better live.

The biggest thing that drew me towards Poison Ruïn was their ambient interludes in their songs. Until seeing them live I was mystified by the prospect of them pulling it off live. Well, the answer was much simpler than I thought, a simple Boss looper pedal with the interludes loaded in. Their set was intense and hearing these songs live made the evil fantasy themes come out to the forefront. Their banner adorned with four knights hung above the stage the whole time and when the pit opened up it almost felt like a medieval siege.

Some of my favorites from them are “Not Today, Not Tomorrow,” “Fog of War,” “Torture Chamber,” and “Pinnacle of Ecstasy.”


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