(Rough Trade, 2005)
Arcade Fire was thinking BIG from the get-go: “Power Out” is a massive-sounding, stadium-sized single 4 REALZ. The only things that might indicate “indie” here are the tinkling xylophone and the quiver-n-yelp vocals; the rest is ultra-confident Rock chug-a-lug. It’s an exciting and impressive piece o’ work, with an almost dance-y rhythm guitar part keeping the energy up throughout. The B-side is a rougher version recorded prior to the influx of label money, and shows how the band would have approached the Funeral material had it remained unsigned. The result isn’t radically different from what was finally released, but it does retain some of the raw, Mercury Rev-esque charm of the self-titled EP. Nevertheless, that big-stage, fist-pumpin’ ambition punches its way through, even on this no-budget take.
And I don’t know if it’s just my copy, but the vinyl on this one sounds AWFUL. Like unacceptably bad. What gives?