These Are Powers, All Aboard Future
A dystopian vision of future punk that makes you want to dance rather than slit your wrists
Opening their third album with a riff that sounds like Marilyn Manson's "Beautiful People" as filtered through Aphex Twin's most sinister compressor, These Are Powers kick off their follow up to Terrific Seasons in brutal style.
The New York/Chicago trio's sole female member, Anna Barie carries much of the vocal weight, carving herself into a niche somewhere between Siouxsie Sioux and Mu, growling repeatedly: "We came back… and we brought it with us." They never explain exactly what it is that they've got, but from the sound of the grimy rhythms churning angrily behind her, it's likely something menacing and deeply unpleasant.
Barie deadpans "Paintings don't change war" in "Life of Birds" while bandmates Pat Noecker and Bill Salas trade piercing guitar and white noise over tribal death-bomb rhythms. After "Double Double Yolk," Barie's most M.I.A. moment, she takes a back seat for "Parallel Shores" and "Light After Sound" which showcases the men's vocals, who drone against a backdrop of apocalyptic crunk and distorted waves of synth.
Perhaps more than any of their previous albums, the band have distilled the improvised chaos of their live show and translated its energy into a tightly-sequenced dystopian vision of future punk, or "ghost punk" as they call it, one which ties together global themes of death and destruction. Unlike other bands with the same agenda, These Are Powers make you want to dance rather than slit your wrists.