POW! are just that. Quick, sharp, shocking, loud. This is their fourth album for the Castle Face label. The band is now comprised of just Byron Blum and Melissa Blue but that is all that is pared down. The music is still as frenetic and fun as ever. It’s hard to label them and many have tried. Just file them under A for “Amazing”.
Shift begins with the mind numbing ‘Connecting’ which starts with a low keyboard rumble from Melissa, then Byron’s rhythmic guitar chops come in, queue the vocal, drums and then the telephone noises. All hell breaks loose. Serious music to mosh by. If I am not mistaken, I believe I heard the second track ‘Disobey’ live when they toured with the much missed Poptone in 2017. Byron’s multi layered guitar screams through as he chants for us to, yep you guessed it, disobey. ‘Free the Floor’ is a funky rump shaker. Melissa’s keyboards dominate with such a warm retro-70’s sound against the bombing beat. ‘Machine Animal’ hits with a Devo-like catchiness that automatically makes your head move up and down and simple lyrics so you can sing along in no time! Then mere minutes later, ‘Night Nurse’ presents us with a brief instrumental bridge that goes into Throbbing Gristle territory quickly. Trust me it has to be heard to be believed but I expect nothing less from these two. ‘Scissors’ closes out the album in a tried and true POW! song style and really needs to shine as a single or at least have a video made like one of the earlier album tracks ‘Dream Decay’.
This album will not disappoint any long term fan and should hopefully gain them new attention and followers. All in all, Shift is over way too soon but it is 32 minutes well spent. They are fun, dark and dreamy. They pack so much into a two and half minute song that you would swear you had just listened to Yes’ Close to the Edge. That is brilliant to me. That is bang for the buck. Or POW! for the buck if you will…
Photo by Emma Marie Jenkinson
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