“ear-grabbing pop melodies under a thick, wet layer of sonic muck.”
The long, low rumble of “Disappointment” is as good a place to start as any. The lead track from The Powder Room’s debut album, “Curtains” functions as both calling card and warning sign. There’s nothing lighthearted about them. There’s also nothing extraneous. Each piece is necessary.
And the truth is there’s not very many pieces. The three-piece of Gene Woolfolk (guitar/vocals), Bubba McDonald (bass guitar) and Patrick Ferguson (drums) provide everything needed. The past three years have fostered the initial growth spurt for The Powder Room and it’s completion of its debut signals the group’s next era. Recorded with the estimable Kyle Spence (Harvey Milk) in the band’s hometown of Athens, GA the record is a gut punch of noisy sludge that declares its malaise and disgust immediately. Just dig the song titles: “Alcoholics and Meth Addicts”, “Frayed”, “Dead Pet”, et al.
The Powder Room wasn’t built for speed and most of its repertoire occupies the mid-tempo, bass heavy area just above doom but well below the goof troop cliché that grunge eventually became. Even so, the band can twist a melody at just the right moment (“Waltz Liquor”) and offer a propulsive, addictive repetition when they really feel like it (“Earthworm”).
They were described in the summer of 2014 as a “Powerhouse trio made up of three rock veterans capable of ripping the throat out of every talking head giving lip service to 1990’s nostalgia. The real deal birthed through the triple liquid stew of hardcore punk, hard rock riffage and shoegaze menace; stewed in a brine of nihilism and strained through the grind of the day to day.”