POW WOWS “NIGHTMARE SODA”
Debut full-length album from Toronto’s up-and-coming garage rock band! Pow Wows’ Nightmare Soda was recorded and produced at The House of Secrets in Toronto in 2010. From the ashes of a number of Toronto, London and Ottawa garage and punk bands rises Pow Wows – a rock n roll creature with one foot in the swamp and the other at the sock hop. Pow Wows are Ryan Rothwell, Jason Holinaty, Jason Sherritt, and Matt Cosgrove.
Album opener “EIO (During the Flood)” makes it clear that these four savages intend to take the listener on a journey that will extend over the history and geography of established rock subgenres.Moving from swaggering rhythms and sparse, restrained guitar to a psych-tinged bridge and then back again. This track can be read as the album in a nutshell –aggressive yet restrained, well executed, exciting and diverse. The repeated refrain, however, of “No, not gain…” towards the song’s finale reveals the band’s sense of self-awareness. Oh no! Not again! Another bunch of garage-heads banging out their tunes like they’re going out of style. Don’t worry –these guys don’t take themselves too seriously. They just want to have fun, and want you to be there to witness the romp!
If there’s an underlying theme to this record it’s captured through two seemingly opposed lyrics. The first is from the outro refrain of the well-paced call and response guitar driven “Do The Splash”. Over and over, the line “I wanna stay out” is bellowed. These guys aren’t content to have a laugh and call it quits early. They’re going to make sure the party goes until the sun comes up and responsibility is wielding its ugly fist. Enter here the second and opposed line: “It’s so hard making money”, from the country-punk “Four Star”. Sure it’s hard making money. Especially when there are scarcely three or four hours to sleep a night! Here we have the theme that many night owls and rockers are faced with. How to balance the drive to make party music for party animals while at the same time knowing that us human animals have responsibilities and goals that parties have been known to interrupt? The answer to this dilemma is contained in another of the album’s song titles: “Worry…Don’t”.
So here it is, an exciting debut from a promising group of Toronto slackers and party animals. After listening to this record, the one area this group cannot be said to slack in is song performance. And after all, isn’t that the only area that you as the listener should be concerned about?