Week in Pop: 2Mex, POW!, Religious Girls, Sheers

Post Author: Sjimon Gompers


The potent Bay Area powerhouse of limitless potential—POW!; photographed by Cara Robbins.
SF by LA’s POW! are back with a first listen & viewing to their radically electric new Slimer Records single & video for “Sparks From a Shadow”. They have gifted us with Hi-Tech Boom, Fight Fire, Crack An Egg & continue to swarm like bees around the evil empire hives propelled by their own skillfully anarchic dissonance (& dissent for that matter). The new POW! single flexes the more midnight mystery component that has always been a trademark of the group’s style, where the “Sparks From a Shadow” alludes to supernatural events with thematic compositions that the band underscore through captivating deliveries through presence, guitar/organ synergy & steady rhythms.
The imaginative sci-fi video for POW!’s “Sparks From a Shadow” was directed by Los Angeles artist Jonnie Prey & camera work by Corey Smith & Mathew James Turnbow filmed with blue screen & studio operators Eva Aguila & Brock Fansler at Coaxial Arts Foundation in Downtown Los Angeles; the band & company bounce around from LA locales to a classic t.v. performance event that is all plagued by paranormal happenings. The very opening of the video introduces the group & single title as we see POW! playing as if it was for a segment of a European variety show to having their faces become displaced on random folks & mannequins from shop windows, public transit & anywhere they darn well please. The kind of thing you would see in a throwback horror film on cable, performance art is interspersed with cartoon-ish effects that turn into something straight out of a haunted-house amusement park attraction. All of this feeds perfectly into the creative aesthetic of POW!, where Plan 9-esque choices of distortion effects applied to nearly all instruments are given the most perfect visual accompaniment that manifests the otherworldly & cult-camp audio affectations that many of us see when we hear this single. POW!’s modern cult pop remake/redux sound (courtesy of producer/engineer Chris Woodhouse) is met with what is probably the closest we’ll ever see of their visual aesthetic equivalent.

For those that care to enjoy POW!’s single “Sparks From a Shadow” with just audio we present you with the following stream accompanied with the following prologue introduction:

Inspired by Brian Eno / Peter Schmidt’s’ Oblique Strategies. Recording engineer and producer Chris Woodhouse was directed to pull a card from the deck and was given a strict 15 minute time limit to produce the final mix, that is “Sparks From A Shadow”.

We had a chance to catch with POW! in the following interview transcript:
What is all the latest happenings in the world of POW! since we’ve last caught up?
We have a new single!
Tell us all about the shadows & sparks that informed “Sparks from a Shadow”.
I wish I knew but I’m fascinated by it. It’s a mystery. I feel like we all try to capture that creative spirit when it speaks before it moves on or passes through to someone else.
How has the POW! aesthetic evolved over the years? I feel as if you all have increasingly become way more electrified & amplified.
That’s cool. I’m not really sure.

Live video still from POW!’s single “Sparks from a Shadow”; photographed by Jonnie Prey.

Current greatest causes & activism the world should be paying attention to right now? Other fellow artists, that you all would like to recognize?
How about Guerilla Toss! I just came across their music. They have a song called “Skull Pop” off their latest rec. It’s fucking amazing.

Next big plans for POW! that are in the works?
We’re doing this east coast tour with POPTONE in August. Very excited about that. Featuring original members Daniel Ash & Kevin Haskins performing Bauhaus, Tones On Tail, and Love & Rockets. We recently wrapped up a west coast tour with them and it was a big pleasure. They kill it.

The forever fashionable POW!; photographed by Cara Robbins.

2017/2018 & beyond survival tips?
Remember; log off from time to time cyborgs.
Catch POW! on the following tour dates:
03 Ashbury Park, NJ – The Stone Pony *
04 Philadelphia, PA – The Trocadero Theatre *
05 New York, NY – Irving Plaza *
08 Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club *
10 Camden, CT – Ballroom at the Outer Space *
11 Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Sound Stage *
12 Richmond, VA – The National *
13 Brooklyn, NY – Alphaville ^
* w/ Poptone
^ w/ Future Punx
POW!’s new single “Sparks From a Shadow” is available now from Slimer Records & Bandcamp.