Monday, July 7, 2014

Pow! on Grazer Records

Pow! has a coupe of things going for them before I even put this on this morning. Seth Sutton played drums on two of these tracks and John Dwyer designed a couple of their tour shirts.
Looks like they probably just finished up a tour in Europe with Seth, who might be a full time member? The San Francisco trio is going places that I WISH Blank Dogs could have captured when I caught them live when they went all Rock and Roll on me. Don't get me wrong I love those guys but expanded into a rock four piece with a live drummer just seemed to lose a lot of the damaged future sound that I loved about them. Seems like Pow! has found that sweet spot of thin sounding garage and cruddy synths. It reminds me of another band SIDS that put those elements together with a cardboard cutout of Sid Vicious on drum machine.

A-Side's "One Eyed Scorpion" opens with innocently enough with a ringing out warm distorted melody when an effected vocal fades in rising in tone running right into this punchy serrated beat. A weird close mic'd tight spring reverb in the vocal from Bryon Blum, has that delayed creepy sound from "Setting Fire To Your House". Seth Sutton is on drums here under the disjointed overblown synth solo that sounds like one of those fisher price xylophones and a contact mic - straight metallic sustained ringing. The depth is almost like a bunch of shallow layers piled up over each other with unexpected parts showing through. All pop though, the crazy effects are just a sign of their confidence and talent not gimmicks. "The Punisher" comes on with a four note synth drone and stomp beat. The guitars are jangly, all treble induced and buried in the back of that keyboard melody. Byron layers in the warble vocals with an octave transcriber, The Units wish they had this sort of thing available and they would have done away with any human element at all. A maddening hypnotizing rhythm that keeps plowing straight between your ears.

B-Side's "Fight Fire" plays with a heavy Sabbath jittery riff and messy space synth. Byron jabs in those lyrics in fits and starts, whooping between bursts. Like Fuzz met Thee Oh Sees. That Ty Segall sledgehammer breaking chords into huge unwieldy pieces and then dropping them on one another from the top of someone's apartment. "Hangin' Out (At Home)" has another heavy guitar core and they've got that off kilter nervous energy of Useless Eaters and I'm looking up their full length. This is garage fed through some kind of electronic vending machine. The riffs are coated in sine waves and the drums have wet cheese dip dripping from the tuning screws. Primitive TRS-80's created beats and power chords. It's fun / just hanging out / at home. Electronics never sounded so good with reverb. God damn exciting stuff.

On crystal blue/black vinyl from Grazer Records. Full length 'wasp guts' color vinyl from Castleface.

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