Pow Wows keep their garage rock pure and classic: blown-out vocals, surf-tinged guitar with lots of bite and ‘tude, 2.5-minute song lengths, singalong choruses. Their slightly delayed second album for Pittsburgh retro-garage indie Get Hip Recordings (home to Man or Astro-Man? and Thee Headcoatees) has a full but basic sound, strong writing and musicianship and lots of energy.
The Toronto trio adds car-engine-gurbling sounds to Car Cemetery, You Haven’t Got Me Yet has a fun and dotty guitar solo, and Hidden Future goes nicely widescreen. None of it’s enough to set them apart from others in the genre, past or present, though near the end they make some new moves. Four-plus-minute Traces has sombre, slower verses, angry, explosive choruses and a spare, psyched-out breakdown – all of which expand a well-trod path.
Top track: Traces
Pow Wows play an album release show at the Silver Dollar on Friday (February 20).