These Are Powers threw an EP release party Saturday with all the bells, whistles, and shrieks we’ve come to expect from them. Minimalist electronic duo Talk Normal and psychedelic drone outfit Sightings served as more-than-competent openers, but These Are Powers slit open a sonic snake pit when they took the stage with their relentless, incantatory “ghost punk.” Over bleeding chemical swirls of samples, fuzzy bass, and stomping drums, singer Anna Barie gave everything she had (guitar effects, her own crazy voice) in an attempt to raise legions of bionic zombies. As a front person, Barie has more in common with classic rock greats like Jim Morrison than her shrinking violet peers in the New York experimental scene, who often disappear behind the curtains of their soundscapes. A long, shapeless yellow kimono transformed her from a regular cute girl into a menacingly unfamiliar figure towering above us, with each angular flail and high kick creating a dramatically superhuman silhouette. The audience responded, swaying and hopping with disregard for how they might look.
The band’s Dadaist flair for humor also shone through at times, like in the chorus of coughs that begins the excellent “Chipping Ice.” Though some people find it off-putting, I think “wtf” moments like these go far to keep them from getting too caught up in their own shamanistic fervor. Even more endearing was the cake Barie had baked for the occasion, complete with colorful frosting replica of the Taro Tarot EP’s cover art, which fans devoured like it was the body of their prophet. From the way things seem to be going for TAP, the next cake might have to be a whole lot bigger.