Posted in music on January 3, 2014

by Bill Pearis

POW!
POW!

While Thee Oh Sees are taking a well deserved break, frontman John Dwyer is not as his very active label Castle Face continues to put out records. The next two Castle Face releases are due out this month in fact -- POW!'s High Tech Boom on 1/14, and The Traps' Boom Pow Awesome Wow two weeks after that (1/28). We're premiering tracks from both bands in this post.

With a synthbass-powered rhythm section, San Francisco's POW! make dystopian future fuzz, angry and angular. What's become of their fair city is the target of most of the record's ire (check the LP title) and if there was any doubt, John Dwyer (who's leaving his longtime home for Los Angeles) spells it all out in the press release:

Deep in the graveyard SF a young hand with black and cracked nails is pushing up through a broken pile of E-slag. Bitter teeth tear through server cables and motherboards, trying to be freed from the ever deepening sludge of tech waste...the Iphone is the new Styrofoam cup.

Stepping over them, eyes glazed, feet dragging, blank face aglow in the eerie luminescence of the smart(?) phones underfoot, is the spirit of these songs.
San Francisco has long been filling up with noobs...but now we face the most dangerous, the most egregious and blandest of them all...people with lots of money.

NOBODY can square-up a joint like rich people.

POW! have written a punk eulogy to our fair city.

Evictions!
Pop up shops!
Parklets!
Specialty shops!
What the fuck is happening???

There goes the taqueria that used to kick ass, replaced by a deli with a line of assholes a mile long. "I wonder what the sandwiches are like and do they make their own salsa?"

Check out the Wire-esque "Hope Dealers" below.

As for the now-defunct The Traps, the Providence trio existed in the early '00s, making very heavy, very grimy, sludgerock. Says Dwyer, "Coachwhips played with them, then I came home and tried to rip them off, but I wasn't man enough to fit these balls in the front seat." Boom Pow Awesome Wow collects collects a previously CDR-only EP and four tracks that never made it past cassette. Listen to the LP's title cut below.

Streams, plus full versions of Dwyer's bios for both bands (both enlightening as to his frame of mind and decision to leave San Fran) below...

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Pow! - Hope Dealers

Deep in the graveyard SF a young hand with black and cracked nails is pushing up through a broken pile of E-slag. Bitter teeth tear through server cables and motherboards, trying to be freed from the ever deepening sludge of tech waste...the Iphone is the new Styrofoam cup.

Stepping over them, eyes glazed, feet dragging, blank face aglow in the eerie luminescence of the smart(?) phones underfoot, is the spirit of these songs.
San Francisco has long been filling up with noobs...but now we face the most dangerous, the most egregious and blandest of them all...people with lots of money.

NOBODY can square-up a joint like rich people.

POW! have written a punk eulogy to our fair city.

Evictions!
Pop up shops!
Parklets!
Specialty shops!
What the fuck is happening???

There goes the taqueria that used to kick ass, replaced by a deli with a line of assholes a mile long. "I wonder what the sandwiches are like and do they make their own salsa?"

It's enough to be the catalyst for a bad day or a great fucking song.

In the vacuum that is now expanding there is a ragged and defensive sound vibrating out from the determinedly dirty underground. THIS is POW!...deep 80's synth bass percolating under the circuit-swamp-fried-egg guitar...the drums a teenage tiger's heartbeat and vocals delivered like a dead-pan face-slap from a kid half your age.

The recording is simple and dense...and it has a natural Doppler effect on headphones.
Its perfectly poppy and rough at the same time, and it has a message, so dig in ear-wise...

Heed the warning bell about the streets of our home being clogged with the cholesterol of normals...next they could be knocking on your door...

-- John Dwyer

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The Traps - Boom Pow Awesome Wow

Announcing THE TRAPS - "Boom Pow Awesome Wow": another grimy bit of gold from the vaults - "Home Made" music from Providence RI to irk your co-workers with*

Ah, THE TRAPS...when you hear the word "garage" does it make you want to leave the room? I can relate. Beaten over the head, we've been.
The horse that was once merely dead is now a paste on the linoleum. Garage songs sell cars.

Needless to say, THE TRAPS would be last on the list for ad men's fancy.

Sometimes you see or hear something that is so the raw ingredient of what was once great in your life that it stands out...or in this case, hunches over with a thread of saliva from its chin to its knee.

This is THE TRAPS.

From Providence Rhode Island circa 2003-2004.

Very very heavy.
Very very simple.
Recorded in an unwaveringly care-free manner.
3 young men:
2 very mellow dudes playing guitars thru towers of fried amplification.
1 very loud dude from Illinois playing what sounds like a bass drum and a 40" ride cymbal.

Coachwhips played with them, then I came home and tried to rip them off, but I wasn't man enough to fit these balls in the front seat. We've collected their 6 tracks from a CDr only EP as well as 4 tracks pulled from a dusty box of cassettes by yours truly. Spit shined in mastering and with all new original artwork by Dusty Petersen, "Boom Pow Awesome Wow" is the perfect antidote to the G-word selling more yet meaning less.

- John Dwyer

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Comments (6)

They hate high tech internet rich people but make a Facebook band page as their homepage. :(

Posted by Anonymous | January 3, 2014 11:46 AM

Who? is doing what? and WHY??

Posted by Anonymous | January 3, 2014 11:53 AM

indie punk is the new styrofoam cup.

Posted by Anonymous | January 3, 2014 12:58 PM

When I was homeless I use to poop in styrofoam cups, out of respect for others. Now that I'm a wealthy technocrat I pay people to poo on ME lol.

Posted by Anonymous | January 3, 2014 1:05 PM

LA >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> SF

Posted by Anonymous | January 3, 2014 2:08 PM

fantastic! love it!

Posted by nanomaxi | November 20, 2014 2:13 AM

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