Reviews Power Bremerton Zoo

Power

Bremerton Zoo

Old school hardcore punk has really found its feet in the last few years. Bands like CreemRaw Nerve and Violent Reaction have brought innovation to the scene by utilising lesser heard influences ranging from street punk to crust, whilst reducing the songs to their bare bones; short, pissed-off and raw. With its vibrant artwork and blistering intensity (11 tracks in just over 20 minutes), Power's Bremerton Zoo is a good but superficial addition to this underground revival. 

Kicking off on the title track, the general sound soon becomes apparent after a short introductory sample- heavily NYHC with a strong groove, yet mosh-stirring from the get-go. Referentially, there are noticeable overtones of bands such as Youth Of Today and Raw Deal, with a definite early Boston edge. The vocals are distinctive but divisive, filled with spite and menace, somewhere between Crazy Spirit and Hounds of Hate. At times, it grates against the music, like on 'Thinking Evil' and 'In-Stride', but more so it complements the overall atmosphere. This is certainly the case on the driving 'When It's Time' or the short, sharp 'Animal II', with the surprisingly catchy 'I think it's going to be a long, long time' lyric. It's probably one of the most memorable parts of a track on 'Bremerton Zoo'; the quickness of each song means that there isn't much time to appreciate certain elements, such as the ending breakdown of 'Buried Me' or the beginning bass of 'Power'. However, it also means the tracks don't tend to drag on, preferring to strike the listener and making an impression that way. 

The band cover the Black Sabbath track 'Sweet Leaf' and it's a fairly redundant inclusion, being neither a fitting tribute to the band nor particularly playing to Power's strengths. That said, it is a useful way to hear how Power would be if they dared approach the 3-minute mark on a track. Indeed, after considering this and giving the album another listen, there seems to be a number of missed opportunities; the upbeat last section of 'Rotten Apple' begs for a few more bars, whilst the lurching introduction to 'When It's Time' is undercut by the once again manic atmosphere. For all the noise and thunder of 'Bremerton Zoo', it's definitely an album to appreciate live as opposed to any other setting. For on this occasion, you get the sense that for all Power's aggression, there's not much depth to their songwriting skills or style.

6.0 / 10Fin TJM
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