I hadn’t heard of San Francisco’s POW! until a recent radio gig of mine. I thought the name of the band sounded fun and figured I’d give their new album, Crack an Egg, a try.
I’m glad I did, because this is a fun synth-punk record and one of the catchiest albums I’d heard this year. The opener “DNS” blends early Gary Numan synths with snotty vocals about the lead singer’s father (or boyfriend?). It also has a brash guitar solo to make it a bit glam. “Back on the Grid,” with its male and female vocals and 1980’s video game keyboards, is a great post-punk track. “Castle of Faith” sounds like something that you heard in a video on USA’s Night Flight at 3am and you haven’t heard it since – big synths and beats and slightly distorted vocals made for an industrial club.
“Necessary Call” is both retro and new at the same time. Stoner rock guitars and drums blend quite well with deep synths and Low-era David Bowie style vocals. “Runner” is synth-psych and the oddly placed “Crack an Egg Intro” is trippy synth-weirdness. “Cyberattack #3” sounds like Kraftwerk, Gary Numan, and Thee Oh Sees all partying in a dystopian future. “Color the System” reminds me of early Public Image Ltd., and “The Razor” would fit right in on the Stranger Things soundtrack. “Energy in Motion” is suitably peppy with its loud guitar chords and keyboards that sound like robots having a conversation.
The album ends with the sprawling, humming, and chugging “Crack an Egg in Honor of the Human Race.” It’s a title as intriguing as the album. The album is full of synths, drum machines, loops, and processed and chopped beats, but the longest track on the record calls for us to remember our humanity. As always, technology has just as much potential to drive us apart as it does to bring us together. Perhaps POW! wants us to cook each other breakfast after a long night of partying to their album. I’m game. Are you?
Keep your mind open.
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