Monday, June 1, 2020
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Power Pill Fist: Werebeard

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Artist: Power Pill Fist
Title: Werebeard
Format: Tape
Label: i, absentee (@)
Rated: *****
Power Pill Fist is the project of Ken Fec, an ex-member of Black Moth Super Rainbow based in Pittsburgh. Werebeard is his third full length album, following Extra Life and KONGMANIVONG, both release on Graveface Records, a label own by a member of Black Moth Super Rainbow (Ryan Graveface). Ken Fec's music is a mixture of drum machines, electric bass, acoustic guitar and Atari synthesizer. I particularly enjoyed the melodies created with the later, as I feel it gives the album an edge. The textures Ken Fec creates with the Atari synthesizer are surprisingly deep too, for instance on 'Antrobus' the acoustic guitar riff nicely complement the synthesizer sweeps and steady robot alike drum machine beat. For a noisy release, the production is top notch, even though you can clearly hear the tape hiss, the bass are round and the high frequencies are clear, something rare for an underground release. Some tracks, like 'Little Dude Guy', have great ambient melodies that are reminiscent of Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works. Others are noisier and more punk, I guess that's why this release is billed as 'Atari noise rock'. For me, it took a couple of listens to make those noisier tracks grow on me. Standout tracks in this genre are 'Stank Tank' and 'Swear Jar'. The intro piece 'Root Ball' has a nice balance between the noisier and softer sides of Power Pill Fist, it's also a very catchy tune that easily get caught in the ears. There's also some cool little field recordings tracks with minimal instrumentation and dialogues. Overall, I would say that if you're into chiptunes and rock version of video games music, Werebeard is for you. Ken Fec's third album is also the first cassette release by i, absentee records. The artwork looks great and the cassette itself is clear blue, which looks awesome. Collectors take notice: the tape is a limited edition of 100 copies.