POWER PILL FIST “Werebeard” (I, Absentee)


It’s been way too long since we’ve gotten a new full-length from Power Pill Fist. Seven years, in fact, since Kongmanivong came out on Graveface Records. That’s a long time for those of us who revel in the throes of funk-nasty gutter-electro made by trash-heap robots. I’m one of those who do that. That thing. The reveling. Every morning since 2008 I’ve gotten up, refreshed Power Pill Fist’s website on my phone, and set it back down in disappointment. I’d perform this ritual many times throughout the day as well. I’ve gone through eighteen phones doing that.

For those of you unaware jagoffs who need a quick tutorial: Power Pill Fist is Ken Fec. Ken Fec is Tom Fec’s cousin. Tom Fec is Tobacco. Tobacco is the leader of Black Moth Super Rainbow. Power Pill Fist plays bass in Black Moth Super Rainbow. Family tree completed, ourobouros style, one Allegheny whitefish eating the other’s tail. (And … ewwwwww.)

So, great news, Werebeard is a total triumph, a standout among this year’s absolute crap heap of tape releases. (Just kidding – there are a TON of cool tapes out there, just click any flipping archive link on the right! Or wherever it is on your smartphone. I don’t even know why I said “crap heap.” Stream of consciousness review writing is for the birds. Where was I? Oh right:)  Where PPF may have relied on the BMSR formula of sick synth/death bass/hip hop beat in the past (NOT a bad thing), he stretches here into his own horror-hop formula. Stringed instruments are at the forefront of some of these tracks (“Root Ball,” “A Cloud of Sad”), and the low end is often a static depth charge. It’s nice to have a little timbre variety, don’t you think? The vibe throughout is dark, fun, and creepy, sort of like Captain Spaulding in the Rob Zombie movies. (Come to think of it, when PPF blows past middle age, he might end up looking like Sid Haig … hope you’ve got a good dentist, Ken!)

There’s enough of a party-in-hell vibe here for PPF to play as flipside/photo-negative version to Tobacco, proving there’s more than one Fec to deal with outside of the candy-walled shack in the woods (in which there’s a dangerous Chinese witch guy wielding some sort of hatchet). “Root Ball” swings big, dangly disco balls of black tar (and hey, I reviewed the video!), “Stank Tank” is your new block anthem (in Bucharest), and “Evenly Spaced Aces” is a better video-game-attack movie than Adam Sandler’s Pixels, and it’s only 3.5 minutes long.

So never, ever turn your back on Ken Fec, even if the wait is eight years. This is a guy who Aesop Rock once name-checked in a verse (Donkey Kong chest, check the gesture). Sure, it was a verse on a Tobacco track, but still, it's not like he mentioned Seven Fields of Aphelion or Ryan Graveface, did he? No way. Aesop only rolls with the masters. And with Werebeard, PPF smears greasy musical ass prints all over your metaphorical windshield, master behavior if you ask me. Hey, at least he’s not smashing them.

--Ryan Masteller