Sunday, August 21, 2011

These Are Powers Are All Aboard For the Future

These Are Powers are a band that embraces chaos, string theory, and the total destruction of the idea of music. Their previous efforts have been a cacophony of noise and dissonance that more than likely gave a few people migraines while they watched their ear drums bleed. For their latest album, All Aboard Future, the band rewrote the way they went about making music while still embracing the underlying idea that music should be abstract and untamed.

Using a host of hand crafted sounds, These Are Powers have created a dissonant soundtrack that while sounding unhinged makes a certain degree of sense. Rather than giving you a migraine, All Aboard Future, will cause you to scratch your head in bewilderment as the unique soundscapes that These Are Powers come up with will cause you to question your sanity. What's truly remarkable about All Aboard Future is how the These Are Powers shapes the chaos that surrounds them into some sort of framework that resembles a song. They actually create the odd melody here and there and the results are songs that occasionally sound like off the mark pop songs. "Parallel Shores," is a perfect example of this as the sounds are looped into a simple melody that makes the song sound eerily robotic and strangely catchy.

Elsewhere the band hints at more melodies by utilizing swirling guitars, boy/girl call and response vocals, and creating an atmospheric sense of the end. They do such a good job of this, in fact, that All Aboard Future at times sounds so doom laden that you would swear that this is the soundtrack to the end of the world (or Terminator: Salvation). Doomsday aside, These Are Powers have created an album that's surprisingly listenable and while things do get disordered at times, the band always manages to find their way back to creating something that resembles a song.

While All Aboard Future isn't the feel good hit of the winter or any season for that matter, it is a fascinating and haunting album to listen to. It's use of hand crafted/found sounds is truly intriguing and how These Are Powers arrange all these noises, bleeps, loops, and beats into something that's actually aurally acceptable is amazing. If ever there was a headphones album, These Are Powers', All Aboard Future would be it. My advice, however, is not to listen to it by yourself in the dark because it will probably scare the bejesus out of you.

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