Power Pill Fist – Kongmanivong

April 8th, 2009
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Noise at Its Best in Kongmanivong

On the surface, the name Power Pill Fist evokes visions of mohawks, spitting and out-and-out punk rock. The reality could not be further than that. Instead, Power Pill Fist delivers a group of intellectual-looking musos playing noise in such a way that Mike Patton would shed an envious tear wishing he’d thought of what they are doing.

Power Pill Fist is the second band of Pittsburgh musician Ken Fec, previously of Black Moth Super Rainbow. Unlike their fellow contemporary noise bands, Power Pill Fist don’t just produce compositions devoid of melody. Their tracks have surprising amounts of melody considering the type of noise with which they are constructing music. Adding to that, their ability to make previously inaudible sounds catchy is no simple task.

From the perfectly molded melodic white noise of “YFF, Lou Pappans” rolls the ear-smacking synthesized bass of “Sagadraga,” possibly the best piece of experimental music written in the last decade, and this is only the beginning. The album drifts from one track to the next, questioning everything believed that experimental noise music could do and excelling every expectation for the genre.

The album isn’t perfect, though. “Contours Gaining Shape” seems to solely exist as a drill in the sustenance of drone with occasional drips sounding more like being stuck inside on a dull, rainy day than a musical masterpiece. There are plenty of moments that sound as if somebody forgot to plug in the right lead, but the good far outweighs the bad.

Kongmanivong is a breath of fresh air within a genre that has been getting horribly stagnant in recent months. Power Pill Fist have the ability to make avant-garde seem almost natural, giving newcomers to the noise genre a step up along with a warm welcome.

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By Tom Gayton Posted in Reviews

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Power Pill Fist – Kongmanivong