May 12, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

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Girlpool's debut LP, 2015's Before the World Was Big, was something of a declaration of character. The then-Los Angeles duo announced themselves as being openly vulnerable and transparent with a collection of songs that sounded at once goofy, beautiful, and existential. On their first full-length Girlpool recognized that the ultimately trivial can, and often does, feel earth-shattering. On the band's sophomore LP, Powerplant, the band focus on the mundanities that those genuinely earth-shattering experiences consist of; break ups and death don't enter Girlpool sounds so much as crumbs in the bottom of bags and hushed sighs do.

The enlisting of Miles Wintner on drums has inevitably elevated Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad on Powerplant. Not only is the duo's rhythmic workload relaxed, but the pair seem to be more confident with toying with song structures this time aroundthey're as at ease with '90s-indebted distortion bursts as they are stream-of-consciousness passiveness. Penultimate cut "It Gets More Blue" finds Girlpool in a rare elaborative mood; "I faked global warming just to get close to you" Tividad sings on one of only two tracks that breach the two minute mark. Girlpool base their songwriting around tenderness, vulnerability, and a complete disinterest in pretending not to embrace those things, and Powerplant finds them at their most transparent. (  

Author rating: 7.5/10

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