These Are Powers is impossibly hip and impossible to categorize.
Sonically amorphous yet stridently opposed to such catch-all categories as “no wave” and without a clearly discernible allegiance to a particular scene, noise-rock outfit These Are Powers (who split their time between Brooklyn and Chicago) is harder to pin down than most. With their latest inscrutably hip effort, All Aboard Future, whirling dervish frontwoman Anna Barie and company will no doubt inspire a bullying excess of superlatives in the underground media. Most of the album’s nine tracks slither, stomp, and stutter without a cohesive groove, adding credence to the rumor that much of the record is improvised (or at least consciously produced to sound like it). “Life of Birds” features dive-bombing guitars and wails as strangely avian as the title suggests, while the vocals on “Easy Answers” sidestep between a sexy scat and striving rap. “Sand Tassels” is a creepy and discordant urban sea chantey, proving that the territory of modern noise music can—under the lively stewardship of capable artists—transcend the narrow cultural boundaries of Wicker Park loft parties and Williamsburg keggers.