The Grindcore Riches of P.O.O.R.

Last September the frenetic Ventura, California quartet P.O.O.R. — i.e., Point of Our Resistance — released Extinction of Trust, which just so happens to be one of the great grindcore records of the last several years. Yet despite featuring members/ex-members of Fatalist, Dirty Dead, Decrypt, Stump, and Burning at the Stake, and a slew of gigs opening for such luminaries as Nasum, Rotten Sound, Exhumed, Phobia, and Fuck the Facts, this diverse, churning, creative slab of blast n’ roar still has not quite received its proper respect.
Ahead of the band’s gig this Saturday at Las Vegas Death Fest V, Decibel asked P.O.O.R. guitarist/vocalist Neil Burkdoll to give us the lowdown on six standout tracks from Extinction of Trust. (Matt Harvey from Exhumed makes a couple cameos.) If you like what you hear, the entire album is available via the P.O.O.R. Bandcamp for five well spent bucks.

1. “American Idolatry”

First song on our album, mostly due to the fact that I did the guitar feedback in the intro and it sounded like a good opener to the album. I wrote the music to this one with [drummer] Brad [Vanderzee] doing the lyrics. It has more of a Death Metal vibe to it than some of our other songs, but we are fine with being death/grind and not just straight grindcore. The last half of the song was very inspired by Utopia Banished-era Napalm Death, but I’m not sure anyone would even notice besides me. It was just a certain vibe I was shooting for and I’m still not sure if I ever captured it.

2. “Corpse Corruptor”

This is probably my favorite song because the beginning riff makes me want to kill things in the way that Out of Step by Minor Threat makes me want to kill things. The first two riffs were actually stolen from a song I wrote in 1996 for my old band Morthona. It was from the song “Epic” and it was on our Where All Dividing Lines Become A Blur demo tape. I had those two riffs and the rest was written on the spot as Brad and I were jamming. This is a song that we have played at every show we have ever performed.


3. “Flip the Scripture”

This was our “punk” song on the album and I could be wrong, but I think it was supposed to be used for our other band Dirty Dead. This one is definitely different for us, but it helps with not having two songs sound exactly the same on the album. Matt Harvey from Exhumed does the guitar solo in the middle of the song.

4. “Faith Erosion”

Once again I was sort of going for a Utopia Banished type of feel on the intro riff with a little Slayer thrown in there for good measure. I was a little nervous writing this song because I was sure Brad would not want to use it for fear of it sounding a little to out there for us. This was another step forward for us in not being just traditional grindcore. It made me realize that we can do whatever we want musically and it would still sound like P.O.O.R. Brad pulled off some pretty cool blasts in the chorus that helped with it sounding like us, while also showing what Brad can do behind the drum kit.

POOR-Blood Logo

5. “Pavlov’s Whore”

This was supposed to be the last song on the album because of the rock n’ roll ending which features Matt Harvey playing a guitar solo. Brad has a tendency to throw a lot of different things into his songs that I would usually not do. I mean this in a good way, and it really pays off in this song here. My songs tend to be more simple and straight forward with his songs going all over the place musically. This was another song that proved to me that we could do more things within the P.O.O.R. sound than I originally thought.

6. “Blackmail the Earth”

The chorus of this song is very similar to something I would have used in my old band Stump. Brad loves when I write parts like this and I wish I could do it more often. Matt Harvey does the vocals on the second verse and it was awesome to get him into the studio to help us out. The drum break about a third into the song is a rip off of “Hard to Handle” by Black Crowes. Not sure if anyone ever picked up on that one yet. There is a false ending to the song where we pause for a few seconds, and live it’s even more dramatic. The audience usually thinks the song is finished and then we come back in with the chorus riff even slower. It usually confuses everyone watching, but it is pretty entertaining for us. Wes Caley, who I played in Fatalist with, was supposed to do a guitar solo on the intro riff but it just never happened for various reasons.