Fall blew in this Saturday, belatedly but with a flourish, decking These Are Power’s formidable column of effects pedals with a ring of yellow leaves. Maybe they came in through Death By Audio’s suspended ceiling grid, which grins overhead like rows of crooked teeth. Maybe someone’s into interior decorating. Anyway, there were leaves.
These Are Powers
These Are Powers bear many of the tell-tale marks of other Brooklyn post-punk revivalists who’ve come before, but they go farther in reconstituting their traditional guitar bass drum shout-sing foundation by constructing over it sturdy layers of noise that are processed to alienating, massively heavy rumbles far from the instruments that they came from, including some that resemble lost Black Dice tones attempting to breath under Anna Barie’s relentless voice and Bill Salas’ automatic percussion (played standing with triggered pads and a partial set). It’s a snarling, monstrous attack and it had people simultaneously covering their ears and thrashing around on the “dance” floor.
Clipd Beaks are, with Health, a Lovepump United band making new, noisy music, but the Beaks gave off the aire of being carefully structured, with Nic Barbelin firmly in front, standing on a bunch of drawers, that tipped him over every so often. Their sustained control is only surprising because in conversation with the band I learned that their live show is never the same and that their songs are all cut out of long jam sessions. I also learned that they’ve known each other for years, some since childhood, so their musical cohesion is basically telepathic.
And they’re no pop band. While their songs live return to Barbelin’s overdriven voice, there are also indulgent passages of California art-core spat out of a psychedelic chop shop of live samples and heavy delay. They were incredibly alive, impressive given the fact that they’re in the middle of a really long tour. Also, they usually perform behind a strobe light, but a live filming prevented what I imagine could have been the trippiest sound-visual assault this side of A Place to Bury Strangers.
A side note: It almost looks like we’re actively avoiding Shooting Spires at this point, having missed B.J. Warshaw’s set two times in as many weeks, but we had valid excuses for missing his one-man synth squall anthems both times (and they both involve Sparks). We were also told by two different people that the first act, Miracles were great. The first described it like “Joy Division, but sort of happier. Does that date me?” and the other as “Sort of tribal Doors, with organ.” Their MySpace page says “a small cloud of telepathic butterflies.” I’m going with that one, but please be suspicious (and alert at all times) and check them out yourself.