These Are Powers - Terrific Seasons
Record Label: Hoss Records
Release Date: December 3, 2007
With their debut LP, Terrific Seasons, the Brooklyn-based noise-punk band These Are Powers have put together an album of eight unique and engaging compositions. Rather than subscribing to the standard dissonance of noise-punk (a la Liars), lead vocalist Anna Barrie delves into the ethereal, using her voice to conjure up wails and screams not dissimilar to those you’d find in a classic horror movie. This attention to the paranormal has gotten the band coined as pioneers of their own genre: ghost punk.
Though Barrie’s vocals contribute to this labeling, they aren’t the main focus of the compositions. In fact, what really makes this album so unusual is the scarcity of that female vocal, coupled with the perpetual din of the instrumentation. Percussionist Tim McGrath combines tribal drum elements with more standard variations on a punk rhythm, forcing the listener into a trance. Bassist and back-up vocalist Pat Noecker (ex-Liars) lays down some thumping rhythms as well, that (in the spirit of the genre) often collide with the percussion and Barrie’s wailing. The 20-minute long track "Pizza Master Ice Cream Palace," is the perfect example of what These Are Powers have tapped into in both their previous releases and their live show: a chaotic mix of sounds that place the listener in another universe.
Because of the frenetic presence of sounds that more closely channel the undead than an actual human being, the casual listener may criticize the album as being largely inaccessible. However, if you are already a fan of the genre, you’ll appreciate the giant bruises you’ll get from listening to Terrific Seasons. If you hear something that sounds like punk that's been strangled to death, run through a washer, burnt with an iron, and kicked around in the dirt of several foreign countries, it's probably made by These Are Powers.