Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Powerblessings on Manhattan Chemical and Electric Records

I was pretty sad that I ended up missing the Hot Snakes when they came through literally last week, my neighbor actually clued me in to them touring in town and that sold out tickets on craigs list were going for $200 bucks. Hey guys, maybe you should tour again? Or for those of us that inevitably missed out with those kinds of prices can check out this single from Powerblessings on Manhattan Chemical and Electric. Whenever I hear this kind of energetic punk, the hours of listening to Hot Snakes always comes to mind.....or AtomBombPocketKnife and At the Drive-In and even at 45rpm, these guys manage to fit in 4 lengthy tracks making this an EP...like that Peel Sessions Hot snakes single. Powerblessings match the punk freight train of those guys, and Jon is even a close match to John Reis' punk yell which makes these tracks, keeping up this intense rhythm, the best kind of thing for a long ass drive in the middle of the night...you would want to have this single on hand to wake the hell up and power through to the dawn. On 'Stunt Whale' Jon pushes his vocals to the brink of that hoarse point, dividing his time between a minimal post unaffected delivery and the melodic power scream, instrumentally they are hitting all those start stop moments, the drop in pauses of pure rock, taking the speed of something hardcore and then dealing with it in pop ways, it can be an unstoppable force...I'm a little sad the lyrics are completely lost on me, not that it ever stopped me on ATDI, but that would have been nice on the reverse of the huge insert.
On "Go To Hell" they hit those great chorus moments that made the Hot Snakes so great, there was this great era of bands working in between punk and hardcore which ended up in sounds like this.
The B-Side has the best Don Cab named track, "In the men's room of the sixteenth century" which sounds like the whole thing was recorded right on that in-the-red edge, a hint of distortion, threatening to blow the cones...it's also reminding me of Glass Rifle, but instead of the introspective Fugazi style pauses and delicate complex moments, Powerblessings just plow through not ever taking a breath. It's as frantic as it possibly gets, post-punk jagged structures and high register distortion running under a complete maniac giving it completely everything. Somehow they keep ramping these tempo's up, and who doesn't love that moment when everything stops but the grimey guitar distortion on 'Wet Ones'. I think the true test of this band would be to see how they manage to keep this up live, but I'd be willing to give them a shot.

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