Music » Album Review

CD review: Nö Pöwer's No Peace

Sorry State; Release date: Jan. 19, 2013



It would do a disservice to Nö Pöwer's singularly dominating density and momentum to describe the group using its antecedents. That said, please accept this reviewer's apology.

Charlotte's Grids was once one of the most underrated heavy bands in the South. A noise-rock ensemble with fuzz that congealed with molten intensity, the group's menacing heft was a perfect complement to Rob Davis' guttural barks, which added a hardcore inflection to his sardonic, quasi-spoken word delivery. It was a magnificent balancing act that was sadly short-lived.

Grids split up in early 2011, freeing Davis to form Nö Pöwer, and while his new hardcore band shares few stylistic markers with his old outfit, the group's first LP pulls off a similarly wowing balance of opposing forces. The ferociously distorted bass of Dave Michaud spars with the precisely roughshod playing of guitarist West Hasty, who switches madly between sharp, upper-register shredding and concussive riffs that complement the group's rhythmic muscle. The instruments emerge from appropriately murky production, riffs ringing out in delicious semi-cacophony, cymbal splashes elongating into pools of strung-out noise.

The music is once again a superb fit for Davis, who growls through reverb in a way that is both rhythmic and textural. "No revision/ No remorse/ No peace for me," he repeats at the outset of the title track, jump-starting the onslaught with syncopated precision before shifting to free-form howls that allow his serrated tones to strengthen the band's brute force aesthetic. It's a different formula than Grids', but like that outfit, Nö Pöwer seems to succeed through sheer force of will, a trait that makes its high-energy hardcore all the more exhilarating.

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