POW! – Crack An Egg
Raise a glass. Crack an egg. Strike a match even. Here’s to you humanity, so goes the title track of SFO-based Byron Blum and Melissa Blue’s third LP on oddball haven Castle Face. The cryptic synth-punk duo may be as daft as a box of frogs but, with a dark sense of humour, they manage also to be an enjoyable and prescient antidote in testing times.
Truly harnessing the raw energy of their pop-art leaning stage-name, POW! duly maraud through the sounds of the German underground while trademark spiky guitars are taken on a trashy tour of 80s synth patterns. Squelchy stompers thus rub shoulderpads with cosmic punk and dirgey shuffles, the album reputedly containing hidden messages when played backwards. Whatever the case, listen closely between the buzzing synth lines on “Back On The Grid” and you may hear the ghost of Berlin-era Bowie yelping from beyond the grave.
Squarely in X-Ray Spex territory, however, the more straightforwardly synth-punk single “Necessary Call” ought to have been spinning on choice indie dancefloors for the last three decades. The teutonic “Cyberattack #3” skitters in turn like Devo on a hotplate. And, at the other end of the spectrum, “Color The System” is pure electro-clash in the Fischerspooner style, but don’t tell anyone or we might have an ill-advised revival on our hands. In between these madcap blasts, sludgy psychedelics hold onto searing guitar streams with white knuckles, churning space rockers coming extravagantly dressed in roboticised vocals like Destruction Unit’s poppier cousin to a fancy dress party. Crack An Egg and the world around it may be a baffling place at the moment, but POW! are a timely reminder to embrace life to the fullest and revel in its diversity.
Best track: “Necessary Call”
~Crack An Egg is released 17th February 2017 via Castle Face.~