And yes, you can dance to it.
These Are Powers are known for the dissonance of their early recordings, a cacophony of rhythms and industrial/electronic experiments that recalled Throbbing Gristle one moment, DNA the next. Once rule-breakers, the band is now rewriting those rules with a newfound focus: behold All Aboard Future. Exotic, abstract, hand-crafted sounds--made, found and electronically born--underscore each of these nine songs. Some wail from Pat Noecker's prepared bass; others stem from the idiosyncratic vocal and guitar style of Anna Barie. The two trade off vocal duties, and in the process dissonant sounds become melodies held together and torn apart in fits by Bill Salas' electro-acoustic beats. At first listen, much of Salas' rhythmic contribution sounds as if it could be pre-programmed, but these abstract rhythms are all performed live, interspersing nods to Timbaland with an appreciation for a car crash's metal-on-metal grind.
Ferocious and unhinged, when These Are Powers perform live, it is a kind of spiritual journey, a futuristic fire dance hailing from Chicago and Brooklyn. The bass smolders, topping its low-end sub-rumble with a high-end flutter; abstract beats emanate from the electro-acoustic stand-up drum kit. And piercing through is Anna Barie's guitar while she and Noecker call and respond. Barie blasts through a litany of expressive guitar sounds and full-throated yelps and howls with a confrontational, explosive energy that often finds her entangled with audience members, leaping through the air, or sprawled on the floor in front of the stage.
With All Aboard Future, These Are Powers have embraced collaborators, demonstrating their participating in not only a music community, but a community of ideas. The band invited 13 artists from Chicago, New York and Beijing to interpret All Aboard Future, either drawing from the musical ideas of the album or solely the album title. The artwork adorns the pages of All Aboard Future's accompanying booklet. Photography, painting, collage, text and more--the record becomes the collective expression of artists creating in many media.
All Aboard Future was written and recorded in Chicago during the summer of 2008, and follows the band's 2007 debut LP, Terrific Seasons, and 2008's six song Taro Tarot. All Aboard Future is not just a new album from These Are Powers. It's a seismic shift. A new idea. And the sentiment is real. All Aboard Future! [LESS]