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Shaking it off

Wild Powwers release their new album, full of powerful riffs and invigorating fuzz

Wild Powwers riff on the sounds of the ‘90s, but their biggest strength is getting your blood pumping. Photo credit: Kelly O'Neil

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So much of rock and roll boils down to one simple goal: shaking off the oppressive stress and browbeating aggressors of everyday life. If you make it through the exhausting marathon that makes up just one average, unremarkable weekday in this life of ours, you're afforded the opportunity to frantically rid yourself of every bit of negativity you've accrued. Imagine yourself as a dog, drenched head to toe in viscous mud; now, imagine yourself whipping your body back and forth, filth flying indiscriminately from your fur, hopefully ruining a party being held by your stuck-up neighbors. At its best, rock music can at least make us feel this way, even if the reality is closer to us dancing out our frustrations with the accompaniment of a stiff drink and some loud tunes.

On their most compelling tracks, Seattle trio Wild Powwers possess an uncanny ability to musically inspire their listeners to rail against mediocrity. Bathed in fuzz, soaked in bleach, Wild Powwers sonically call back to the ‘90s with a torrent of roaring guitars and almost intimidatingly muscular drums. Lara Hilgemann takes lead on guitar and vocals, and is joined by Lupe Flores on drums and Jordan Gomes on bass. They strike a dynamic threesome, with no note or tonal shift missing its mark. Melodic and jagged, Wild Powwers flashes a smile at the grunge age of old, without ever risking the possibility of being labeled a nostalgia act. More than anything else, their huge sound is utilized in exploring unexpected avenues of expression; every time you think you've hit the crescendo, they reach deep and discover newer levels of intensity. "May I Have This Dance" is a prime example of this, riding a roller coaster of sound and emotion that keeps banking and dropping at thrilling degrees.

Wild Powwers recently released their latest LP, Skin, and will be celebrating this with a release show at The Valley. The nine-song album (with two bonus tracks) is packed full of invigorating numbers that are profoundly effective at getting one's blood pumping. Hilgemann's vocals are wily and elastic enough to cut through the din of monstrous instrumentation, creating a pleasing interplay where the impressive musicianship bends to her voice, instead of the other way around. Bouncing between a bracing howl and a sweet vulnerability, Hilgemann finds herself holding her own against a couple generations of indelible bandleaders. Along the way, the sense of fun is never far from the fingers of Wild Powwers, melding punishing riffs with rousing hooks in a way that is practically impossible to resist.

Wild Powwers, w/ Constant Lovers, Post/Boredom, 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 27, The Valley, 1206 Puyallup Ave., Tacoma, cover TBA, 253.248.4265,


Friday, Oct. 26, Jarvis Earnshaw will be passing through Olympia. Earnshaw is a prolific, roundly celebrated practitioner of experimental art-rock. Drawing on sitar, acoustic guitar, and disorienting tape loops, Earnshaw creates soundscapes that are ripe to get lost in. Take a listen to his dizzying, unsettling cover of "Seasons in the Sun," and you have a brief taste of what he's capable of offering. Everything is unexpected when it comes to Earnshaw, so take this rare opportunity to see a world-traveling artist such as him in such an intimate space as Cascadia Brewing Co. You may come away changed.

JARVIS EARNSHAW, w/ the Purple Shadows, 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 26, Cascadia Brewing Co., 211 4th Ave. E., Olympia, $5 suggested donation, 360.943.2337

One day later, Cascadia Brewing Co. will also be hosting a hell of a lineup. Indie pop darlings Chanel Beads and Foxing Gloves will be joined by the noisy art-rock of New Born Babies and the ambient drone of Sweet Creature, with proceeds of the event going to the Tacoma Rainbow Center, which benefits LGBTQ youth. The show will feature a Halloween-themed costume contest and an art raffle, so come prepared to give for a great cause.

TACOMA RAINBOW CENTER BENEFIT, w/ Chanel Beads, Foxing Gloves, New Born Babies, Sweet Creature, all ages, 7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 27, Cascadia Brewing Co., 211 4th Ave. E., Olympia, cover TBA, 360.943.2337

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