Powell - Hundred Miles and Caffeine (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Hundred Miles and Caffeine (2005)


If I could get away with reviewing Powell's sophomore EP in under 10 words, it would go something like this: I can't wait to hear their next album.

The French quartet's latest release, a followup to 2004's November Landscapes, is a good effort, but fails to progress much beyond such an accusation. Hundred Miles and Caffeine is six tracks of post-hardcore, Fugazi-inspired wishful thinking.

There are some great things that can be said about the band though. They've certainly improved since last year's November Landscapes, both vocally and instrumentally. The songs on Hundred Miles are more complex with better arrangement. Any skatepunk influence they may have been holding onto previously is gone now, in exchange for a more melodic indie rock sound. However, something has been lost over the last 12 months as well. Vocalist/guitarist, Rity, no longer has the seemingly whiskey-induced gruff vocals that fans of Hot Water Music might appreciate.

Hundred Miles and Caffeine shows a band maturing, but holding back from what I found appealing from them before. If you want to go for a short drive, or a quick nap, then this is the album for you. But if you want to get your feet moving perhaps you should choose another album.

It isn't what I wanted to hear from the band, but for what it is, a second album in as many years recorded live, Hundred Miles and Caffeine is a commendable effort.