April 30th saw the release of Power Gloves eagerly anticipated follow up to their 2013 debut, EP1. The new album wastes no time in picking up from where the Australian duo left off and begins to dig deeper into the dark and mysterious soundscape as heard in their previous work. This time around the guys begin to explore some new territory, taking us on a journey through the seedier back streets of their creativity.
The 7 track, self released EP opens with the tone setter, 'Insert' quickly re-familiarizing us with their ominous vibes. It’s a short and sharp introduction to the world of Power Glove, a world that seems a far cry from the beautiful shores of St Kilda's beach and resembles more a dystopian future Australia, the kind seen in George Millers 'Mad Max'.
Next up is 'Punker', a more rhythmic track that pulsates and alternates from quiet too loud, never hesitating in its intensity. There were a couple of brief moments in this song that bared some resemblance to Aphex Twin, channeling some of that great unpredictability and peculiarity.
'E-240' is perhaps the most interesting song featured on the record and is definitely the one that came as the biggest surprise. Like an R&B song submerged beneath a warm wave of electronica, this is definitely the moment the duo emerge from their chrysalis to dazzle us.
Track 4, 'Grips', oozes from the speakers like sweat from the body of a spandex coated fitness freak. I can only wish that someone out there would make a fitness video accompanied by a soundtrack of Power Glove’s eerie workout grooves. If anyone from Retrosweat is reading this, I’m talking to you!
Next up is a remix of '4am', originally written by Bristolian Shoe gazers, The Fauns. After listening to the original track I can say with honesty that the Power Glove version almost renders the original unrecognizable and they succeed without question in making the song their own. Sometimes remixes have a tendency to throw off the flow of a record and that’s why they’re commonly better left as b-sides. But there's a certain tone to the original that really works within Power Glove’s boundaries and it sits rather nicely on this EP.
What was strange about the next track, 'Motorcycle cop', is that before I'd even heard it, I found myself staring at the EP's tracklisting and thinking to myself, "What a cool name for a song". I immediately began to envision a cop on his bike, cruising through the night against a backdrop of blurred city lights. After listening to the song, I was left aghast by how well the music captured the imagery I had pictured, almost as if it were scored to my own daydream. This song was definitely the most impressive for me and if I had to pick, I would say it’s my favorite on the record.
As quickly as the EP reels us into the world of Power Glove, we find ourselves fading out to the beautifully dark 'Finale', bringing us to the end of a vivid and ambiguous voyage. EP2 is more progressive in comparison to their first EP and I really like how they’ve wasted no time in exploring some new sounds, whilst staying true to their identity. Power Glove may not have an extensive back catalog of work, but what they’ve released to date is a very solid body of work. It stands tall and demands your attention, which is something I enjoy and admire about these dudes.