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Friday, August 30, 2013

Dan's Pick of the Week: Exorcism by Power Animal

     After much griping over a lack of interesting new bands to listen to, I went back to the ones I previously invested my time in. A group in particular that had once sparked my attention was the local electric band Power Animal, which had released an EP last year titled Exorcism. I know it is a bit older, but I figured it would never be too late to do a post on this album, mainly because it’s fan-freakin-tastic! The first time I listened to these guys I immediately got their songs stuck in my head. I would then return to Power Animal again and again.

     The Philly band’s founder, Keith Hampson, has an interesting story of spending almost a year in and out of hospitals, and instead of playing instruments he played cassette tapes. This inspired the EP, Exorcism, which offers a broad range of sounds in past genres. These were ultimately compiled into six songs and five remixes. Every track is unique by itself, but together they are something much greater. I certainly think that Power Animal deserves more credit than what they were previously given. 

     Most of the tracks start out glitchy, but as the first thirty seconds roll out, the curtain is unveiled and a beautiful melody blossoms. No song here lacks a great beat, and Power Animal does well to throw out unexpected rifts and harmonies which typically would not make sense, yet they are pulled off magnificently. It is very unpredictable music indeed, never resting or untangling. Normally, something like this would sound monstrous, but I have easily found both the physical and emotional beauty in such a creature. Take the song “Mold Spores” for example, which happens to be the glitchiest of them all. Every four measures, however, I shiver from the soft voice that echoes throughout the track, while Hampson sings, “I wish that I can join you in your search for sacred moments, but I got to cross my lake. I just hope that it’s a little less treacherous than yours has been.”

     If there is one thing that I can say about this album it’s that Exorcism at no point is boring. Not only are their melodies spontaneous, but they also use an array of unique instruments which are then glazed over various synth recordings, putting this band in the experimental category as well. I am not to big of an electronic fan, but I do enjoy Power Animal, mainly because amiss all the musical tension there is beauty present at all times, relaying Hampson’s message of finding relief in an environment that offers none. If you don’t believe me, then listen to the title track and see for yourself. 

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