Hi-Tech Boom

Hi-Tech Boom

John Dwyer of Castleface Records finds bands he loves as much as his own (Thee Oh Sees) and signs 'em up. Dwyer introduces this debut by Pow! as a “punk elegy" to San Francisco, where an influx of “rich people” is “square-ing up the joint.” Hi-Tech Boom feels a little like a 21st-century B-movie, where the ominous side effects of technology hover and thrum like a swarm about to engulf whatever's in its way. If Byron Blume’s serrated guitars keep the menacing hums and blips and clicks of Aaron Diko’s Moog vanquished, we’ll be safe! Blume’s guitar on songs like “Hope Dealers” and “Cyber Attack” has plenty of menace and spit, and tunes like “@The Station” and “Vertical Slum” pulsate and morph in ways that evoke many of San Francisco’s early art-punk bands, which is serendipitous. In 1979, the really cool young people were seeking cheap art and music gear, not $15 cocktails and killer apps. The fact that Pow! actually sound like the soundtrack of that time (see Tuxedomoon, Snakefinger, Chrome) earns them bonus points. Points also to drummer Melissa Blue for her syncopated snares, which snap with the precision of a drum machine.

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