Girlpool - Powerplant
Powerplant the sophomore release from L.A. based girlpool has the girls taking their lo-fi album from 2015 and turning the volume up on everything. Before the World Was Big was a small and delicate album, personal almost to a fault. However on this new record Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad sound bigger and much bolder, The first couple of tracks actually sound almost like early Sunny Day Real Estate, just unpolished enough to feel frantic, but not so produced that it looses that DIY emotion that Girlpool love. You will actually find a lot of parallels between this record and the early days of the indie rock explosion with bands like Death Cab for Cutie. Girlpool though do not feel like they are chasing something or trying to bring back a bygone sound, from the very first second the duo sound wholly themselves and really good. They girls also sound far less whinny on this record, perhaps using the bigger sound to flesh out more depth of ideas, where as the last record focused almost solely on being small. Even the album cover seems to show someone leaving childish things behind and growing up. Tucker and Tividad always remain so poetic yet so direct with their writing, they are able to mine something really beautiful with just a few words.
On "High Rise" they ditch the percussion and fall back on their guitar and bass lo-fi roots, which doesn't really do much for the song. Yet for people so young they sure do feel the pressures of the world. On "Soup" our narrator goes through the ills of the world all while throwing out a can of soup. It is that kind of moment that they really want you to think is profound, but in reality is more generic. At just 28 minutes the album follows the formula of their last in keeping things tight. This does really allow Girlpool to get out their ideas then move on rather than dwelling for to long. The album's closer "Static Somewhere" has this really great driving bass and drum line and puts a great exclamation point at the end of the record. It is one of the better tracks on the record, making you wish they all sounded like that. Powerplant shows that Girlpool don't have to be just a lo-fi band without drums, but instead can write pretty great music regardless of the instrumentation. Yet they still feel like a band trying to figure themselves out, and even though they may have not done it just yet in time I'm sure they will.
7.0 out of 10