New Album Review


BEST TRACKS: Peter, Free the Floor

FCC VIOLATIONS: Disobey, No World

This is it. We are now in the Cybergoth future that our parents and teachers warned us about. POW! is back – darker, noisier, and giving less of a damn than ever with their new album Shift.

Pow! started out in 2011 with four members but by the time the band released Shift, their numbers had dwindled down to just two: the extraordinary duo Byron Blum and Melissa Blue. With Blum’s cutting guitar, and Blue’s chilling vocals and brain-liquefying keyboard, they don’t really need anyone else.

This album came as a surprise. Based on the two albums that came before this release, it seemed like POW! was moving in a more pop direction. For some reason, they changed their minds and turned a complete 180…and we’re so glad they did! Shift is experimental, unnerving, and abrasive in the most ripping way.

This album is an avant garde explosion of self-expression. Picture oscillating synthesizers, robotic deadpan vocals, strange electronic whirring, and tinny drums being beaten to within an inch of their life. Any song from this album could go on the soundtrack of a post-apocalyptic movie about a motley group of computer hackers and mechanics trying to overthrow the government.

To give you an idea of how noisy this album actually is, I was listening to the fourth track, Free the Floor, in my car and thought the sirens of a firetruck passing by were just part of the song. I almost didn’t stop for it. A minute later, in the same car ride, I was vibing so hard to Peter that I missed my turn. SO yeah what I’m trying to say is this album is really good but bad for when you’re driving.

If you’ve ever worn glittery black nail polish or cosplayed as anyone from Invader Zim, you’ll probably like this album. Even if you’re not a cyberpunk menace, it might still amuse you to give this album a spin.

-Safia Rizwan