The Powder Room: Lucky LP+7"
Chances are if you read anything about the new Powder Room record, you’ll come across something about their tour van and how it spontaneously combusted into flames. There it is, after all, captured in perpetuity on the album artwork, an image both violently destructive and keenly beautiful in that way only fire can be. Metaphorically, it suits the band and their LP, a seething noise rock inferno that crackles, simmers, and burns across 11 explosive tracks. "Fire can symbolize passion, anger, turmoil, war, etcetera," frontman Gene Woolfolk acknowledges. "It is a recurring theme on the record." While still incredibly aggressive, "Lucky" is a more streamlined and atmospheric album than the trio’s debut, "Curtains", which often relied on the band’s sludgy riffs to do the heavy lifting. It’s a subtle evolution that feels natural and organic, which makes sense for a band that doesn’t give much creedence to things like forethought or methodology. Like its predecessor, "Lucky" was recorded and mixed by Kyle Spence, the Harvey Milk drummer who Chunklet’s Henry Owings once labeled one of the two best players to ever come out of Georgia. Under his discerning eye, the Powder Room uncork an album full of high octane rippers and slow-roiling bruisers that seethe with a kind of lurching menace. The rhythm section of drummer Patrick Ferguson and bassist Bubba McDonald are especially locked in, their metallic sludge grooves and galloping punk intensity providing a steady framework for Woolfolk’s combustive riffs and searing feedback. But while the trio’s songwriting has grown undeniably smarter and more clearly focused, Woolfolk credits much of the album’s success to Spence’s knowing hand. "That guy knows what sounds I want," he says. "He has a lot of great ideas when involved with recording and he doesn’t shove the ideas down your throat." Noise rock and noise punk have seen something of a re-emergence over the past couple of years, creating avenues for more louder, more abrasive music to be exposed to wider audiences. With "Lucky", the Powder Room have constructed one of 2016’s most incendiary records, local or otherwise. Whether or not that leads to greater acclaim remains to be seen. Creamy clear 12" vinyl and black 7" vinyl in full colour sleeve with printed inner sleeve and digital download coupon. Limited to 100 copies out of 300 in total.