BY CHARLENE NG
This week’s featured artist, POW!, has been kicking Bay Area’s music scene straight in the kisser with the band’s fuzz synth-punk sound. The trio formed in 2010 when band members Byron Blum and Melissa Blue met at LA Music Festival, Party Out West, or POW (hence the band’s name), and began a summer of musical experimentation, adding Aaron Diko into the mix along the way.
Since their fateful meeting, POW! has signed with Castle Face Records, lead by Thee Oh Sees frontman, John Dwyer. “It’s always been Byron’s goal to be part of Castle Face,” says Blue. “So we recorded 15 songs in the basement of Engine Works and gave a tape of the recordings to a friend. John was stoked on it and after that it all came together really well!”
The band’s debut album ‘Hi-Tech Boom’, released earlier this month, is a compound of Link Wray-esque guitar solos, spaced-out synth bass, and snappy drum kicks. The album is a punk eulogy to the beloved City by the Bay, as the increasing presence of tech companies and gentrification have raised the price of living. According to Blue, ‘Hi-Tech Boom’ is a “response to what we see going on around us in San Francisco, all the social shifts and people getting squeezed out of the city.”
‘Hi-Tech Boom’ is a record with roughed up edges and lo-fi sounds. The album begins with a twenty second intro of fuzz and static leading into thirty minutes of what Dwyer describe as, “deep 80’s synth bass percolating under the circuit-swamp-fried-egg guitar and the drums a teenage tiger’s heart beat and vocals delivered like a dead-pan face-slap from a kid half your age.”
POW! is already in the studio working on their sophomore album as well as planning U.S. and European tours for the upcoming year.
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