Monday, 28 April 2008

Too Ghoul For School

These Are Powers
Knitting Factory, Manhatten, NY
19 April 2008

Unlike Gordon Brown, whose visit was effectively erased from history by that of Pope Benedict XVI, I selected an opportune time to visit New York. Granted, finding a week without worthwhile gigs in New York is about as likely as His Holiness tossing condoms to the crowds from his Mercedes-Benz ‘PopeMobile’, yet I still consider myself fortunate. Although Parts & Labor and Exit Clov deserve honourable mentions, the most stirring performance of my vacation was provided by These Are Powers.

Hailing from Chicago/Brooklyn, These Are Powers have just completed a mammoth Stateside tour to promote their new Taro Tarot EP culminating in last Saturday’s release party at the Knitting Factory in Tribeca. Taking to the stage just after 2am, the amount of people capable of coherent coversations and standing of their own free will (even simultaneously) compared with your average British crowd at this hour was startling; their sobriety was duly rewarded with a thrilling live assault.

Drummer, Bill Salas, created tribal-like rhythms from an extensive kit of drums and electronics, to which bassist, Pat Noecker (formerly of Liars) and guitarist, Anna Barie, layered warped post-punk noise over the top. Their sound is a hectic collage of PiL and Sonic Youth spliced with the immediacy and aural frenetics of Black Dice, which the band themselves have succinctly summarised as “ghost-punk”.

Their debut album, ‘Terrific Seasons’ came out late last year on Hoss Records in the U.S. But it's available in the UK on iTunes and various tracks are still downloadable on their myspace including the ace Chipping Ice (which includes a chorus of coughing) from their new EP. Get involved!

Words: SS

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