Girlpool’s debut was the sound of teenage friends navigating self-identity, gender and growing up. The lo-fi bass and guitar that opens Harmony Tividad’s and Cleo Tucker’s second album suggests that not a great deal has changed in the two years between releases. It turns out that this is an intentionally deceptive move as 50-seconds into ‘1 2 3’ a drum kicks in. The addition of Miles Wintner on percussion helps to define the tone of the release. The songs remain constantly shifting and short – most coming in under the three minute mark – and have the awkward folk-punk charm of Waxahatchee.
There’s nonetheless a sense of the duo pushing for musical self-development. Now less of a bedroom concept, more a traditionally structured band, there’s the introduction of dissonant guitar on ‘Soup’, while the dual vocals and darker, shoegaze lines on ‘Sleepless’ suggest mid-period Lush. It maintains enough of Girlpool’s naïve charm to carry forward their early fans, although ‘Powerplant’’s real success is in its ambition to extend the duo’s core appeal.
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