Having existed for roughly three years now, Bremerton, WA’s, Power have created somewhat of a rep for themselves in the Pacific Northwest. The aftermath of one particular incident resulted in half the band landing in jail—a demolished automobile left in their wake. And legend has it that Power set a dumpster on fire while Tacoma band, Sojourner, were filming a music video. All malignant actions aside, Power is most known for being the best hardcore act to come out of the area in recent times. Their new EP, Death Haunts, is a testament to that.
Don’t let the graffiti tag-style band logo fool you: Power is not a 90’s DMS thug-core renaissance band. Sure, some of the facets are there (moshy breakdowns, crunchy bass lines, a guy in a basketball jersey, etc.) but I’d weigh them in with other contemporary bands like Much Worse, Raw Nerve and—in terms of overall sound—The Rival Mob. Death Haunts, their second 7”, is seven songs of angry venomous hardcore. Musically, this is poignant and powerful stuff, but it’s the vocals and lyrics that stand out most.
As a lead singer, Evan Somerhiser’s mood is that of the pissed-off guy, toiled in desperation and despair. On the title track he screams something to the effect of, “I killed my family and never wept/I don’t miss you and never did/So I drink a lot and try to forget.” (I should mention there are no lyrics printed on the liner notes, so I’m deciphering best I can. I mean, he definitely said he killed his parents and, metaphor or not, that’s a pretty heavy load to carry.) In the next song, “Footprints,” the weight of guilt is addressed, as Evan tells us, “Regret follows me like a fucking shadow/I judge myself more than you know…like a fucking shadow.” And the theme of anguish and misery continues in “Quarters, Nickels and Dimes”—“I’ve got nothing to lose/so there is nothing to prove/I need out of this goddamn fight!” Then, during “Black Eye,” he ponders what choices he might make in the afterlife—“When I walk through the valley of shadow of death, will I travel in fear or will I grab the Devil’s head and scream in his ear?” Evan plays the dejected role so convincingly that several times throughout this record, I have to stop and wonder if this young man is like, actually doing ok in real life. One of the rare occasions in which present demise isn’t the main focus, is in the final track, “C.R.E.A.M.” I know what you’re thinking and the answer is no, it’s not a Wu Tang cover (I told you: this isn’t thug-core) but, rather an expression of disdain for the wealth-seeking masses.
One of the things that makes this band unique is that their appearance is quite a bit different from the frustrated resonance of Death Haunts. For instance, an Internet image search will pull up several photos of scruffy, long-haired men who like to dress in matching costumes and who often times sport tie-dye tee shirts—not the expected portrait of a group responsible for creating such vigorous hardcore as Power does. The message: Yeah, life sucks and all, but let's at least have a little fun with it.
Editors Note: SPB is streaming this record Here.
7.8 / 10
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