pow

There’s a sharp political edge to San Francisco synth punks POW! Along with song titles like ‘@ The Dock’ and ‘Cold Blooded Judge’, their debut album, last year’s ‘Hi Tech Boom’, was a scathing commentary on their hometown’s socio-economic woes, so it’s no surprise they have an ally in Castle Face Records’ head honcho and Thee Oh Sees frontman John Dwyer. And on ‘Fight Fire’ they certainly sound angry; the twelve tracks here rush by in a fog of fury, three of them barely making it past the minute mark.

Buzzsaw guitars duel with heavy synths, and there’s a monotonous inevitability about the drums; you feel like they’d continue on through the apocalypse, banging out a non-stop, motorik beat. But at times the onslaught feels overwrought, and too many songs – most notably ‘Surrender’ and ‘2000 Now!’ – collapse under the weight of the squall. It’s a shame; the likes of ‘Liquid Daydream’ hit the sweet spot where sharp, crunching chords fizz with the right type of energy, yet don’t overstay their welcome. More restraint, and the rest would sound just as catchy.

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