Spartan Records and Tampa, FL’s POHGOH are excited to announce the Friday, November 4th release of the band’s third album titled du und ich - German for "you and I". This collection of 11 earnest, energetic, hook-laden tracks find the cult-beloved act at its most joyfully defiant. The album is an us-against-the-world sentiment those lucky enough to spend the last two-and-a-half years locked down with a loved one can easily take to heart. The album’s first single, "Weeds" elaborates on POHGOH'S Susie Ulrey’s daily fears of living with Multiple Sclerosis, love and loss, and learning how to live through the uncertanity of a global pandemic.
On the deeply personal single Ulrey says:
After my Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis one year into our marriage, Keith and I became an 'us against the world' kind of couple. We’ve been in the weeds together since 2001, ducking every curveball MS throws at us. 'Weeds' is about living with illness and loss and the uncertainty that the pandemic brought into all of our lives. It’s about how we were all locked down with our families with that strange combination of reconnection, tedium and the unknowns that we were faced with. It’s also about the people we love that are grieving, too, and how grief doesn’t ever really go away. You have to make space for it and carry it with you.
The ending reintroduced a part from a song I wrote in 1997 about my mom’s diagnosis of MS. We’re all singing together in an attempt to reassure ourselves that we can hold on."
With a rich history within the ‘90s DIY/indie/emo scene, POHGOH was in a small league of female-fronted bands of the era alongside peers such as Rainer Maria, Jejune and Dahlia Seed whose catalog includes several singles, a split 7" with Braid, the closing track on The Emo Diaries: Chapter One, and its 1997 LP, In Memory Of Bab.
Formed in 1994, POHGOH cut their teeth in the 90's DIY/indie underground, only to hang it up three years later, leaving behind a sole, posthumous full-length, In Memory of Bab. That album traveled far and wide, however, along with a spate of singles and comp appearances, creating pockets of rabid fans worldwide and engendering a small handful of one-off gigs for Susie Ulrey (vocals/guitar), Matt Slate (guitar), Keith Ulrey (drums) and new bassist Brian Roberts (of Hankshaw) before the foursome settled back in for the long haul in 2016.
The reunion led to working with legendary punk-scene musician and producer J. Robbins (Government Issue, Jawbox, Burning Airlines), and yielded 2018’s acclaimed Secret Club, a stripped-raw affair that found POHGOH'S ‘90s college-rock influences intact, and updated by a new maturity and the unique perspectives of lives experienced. Fans new and old shared the tunes, while POHGOH shared stages with personal favorites like Jawbreaker and Mineral.
Then came the global shutdown. The members of POHGOH weathered the quarantine with their families — shades of those tough and often lonely times come through most clearly on their new single "Weeds" — and reconvened as the world began to open back up, flush with new musical inspiration. They rejoined Robbins at his Magpie Cage Recording Studio in Baltimore with more songs than they’d ever written before going into a new recording project, along with some fresh ideas about how a POHGOH album should sound.
Textured, tight and emotionally muscular, du und ich is easily the foursome’s most ambitious outing yet, a confident, eclectic release that showcases POHGOH'S strengths — catchy riffs and big dynamics ridden deftly by Susie’s inimitable voice and evocative lyrics — in a bright new light. The band’s four-on-the-floor rock format is augmented by additional vocals and instrumentation, including pedal steel on the slightly countrified "Planet Houston," and cello and Hammond organ on "Words Are Harder" and the moody, compelling album highlight "Hammer." Opener "Now I Know," "House Burned Down," "Heavy" and the intensely personal "Over-Under" — about Susie’s decades-long battle with multiple sclerosis (MS) — are among POHGOH'S best balancing acts ever between hook and heft, driving anthems with just a touch of post-rock edge.
Twenty-seven years later, POHGOH continues to reassess and reassemble its parts in the most daring yet listenable ways. The act’s third full-length is more than another great album; it’s a collective anthem of survival, a refutation of all that would break us down. It’s a record that says we’re in this together, that it’s us against the world.
du und ich track listing:
- Now I Know
- Over / Under
- Anger In The Belly
- Planet Houston
- Not Cool
- House Burned Down
- I Never Remember My Dreams
- Words Are Harder