It’s hard to believe it has been nearly four years since Power Trip released their debut LP Manifest Decimation. Honestly, I didn’t think we would get them off the road long enough to record another follow-up in the first place. Somehow they did and Nightmare Logic makes it well worth the wait.
The Dallas punk/metal rockers dispel any discussion of a sophomore slump with the opening track "Soul Sacrifice." A huge, get-ready-for-war type, guitar riff builds before the band lets loose like a dog off the chain. Like other tracks on this album, tempos shift between high octane and mid-tempo and back again with precision. "Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)" and "If Not Us Then Who" are hooky cuts with classic thrash metal gang-choruses that would make anyone from D.R.I. to Anthrax salivate with jealousy. Other stand out songs include "Firing Squad," "Waiting Around to Die," and "Ruination" for their scorched-earth approach and meticulous song structures.
The title track features a guitar solo (I guess you would call it) that sounds like either a wind storm or an airplane taking off. Which is a good example of why this is such a creative and fresh-sounding album. The "leads" and "solos" are difficult to define as such as they often subvert expectations. The lead guitars seem to elevate or otherwise color the songs in various ways instead of just filling a gap between verse and chorus with an obligatory solo. What’s more, the songs on this album are dense and layered, giving them a complexity that begs for repeated listens.
Drenched in politics, stories about addiction and the pharmaceutical industry, and religious conservatives, Power Trip certainly understands the roots of punk and thrash metal. These topics provide the lyrical venom that accompanies these often athletic and muscular songs. It’s hard to tell if the music feeds off the lyrics or vice-versa, but vocally or instrumentally, the band is generally pissed off. However, this isn’t just angst for the sake of angst, rather these songs come across as genuine calls-to-action fueled by vocalists Riley Gales intensity and the band's relentless power.
My only beef is the running time: 8 songs in half an hour. After all this time waiting for the follow-up, it would have been safe to presume we would get a couple of more songs or at least break the 40-minute mark. Perhaps there’s an EP in our near future or maybe Power Trip did what every good artists knows to do: leave ‘em wanting more.
Nightmare Logic Track Listing:
01. Soul Sacrifice
02. Executioner's Tax (Swing of the Axe)
03. Firing Squad
04. Nightmare Logic
05. Waiting Around To Die
07. If Not Us Then Who
Run Time: 31:67
Release Date: February 24, 2017
Check out the song "Executioner's Tax (Swing of the Axe)"