The ‘G’ Word

Seattle band Wild Powwers recalls grunge-rock heyday

When did the members of Seattle rock trio Wild Powwers know this group of musicians — thrown together by chance just because they all happened to work at the same bar — would work as a band? “Fucking right away. It was really fun,” says drummer and back-up vocalist Lupe Flores.

I’m along for the ride — and by along for the ride, I mean on speaker phone — with the three members of Wild Powwers as they drive through the Seattle night, gassing-up the tour van on the way to their show opening for Slang, a new Portland band featuring members of Sleater-Kinney and The Thermals.

Chatting with the band, you feel like maybe old-school Seattle hasn’t been completely usurped by the shining towers of techno-aristocracy after all.

Lead guitarist and vocalist Lara Hilgemann knew the band would work the first time they went on tour and “it was just super easy, and not a giant fight,” she says.

Listen to Skin, the latest release from the band — fuzzed-out, skuzzy, riff-oriented hard rock — and you’d be forgiven for thinking of that big “G” word of Seattle music history.

The record was recorded with Billy Anderson, who has also engineered records for Melvins, Jawbreaker and Neurosis. Do Wild Powwers pledge any fealty to those bands from grunge rock’s heyday, I ask? The question lands a bit heavily.

“It’s a compliment, in my opinion,” Hilgemann says, after a pause.

“You can’t just take a Northwest band that has fuzz and call it grunge,” Flores says. In addition to grunge, Wild Powwers love a lot of post-grunge Seattle bands like Murder City Devils, according to bassist Jordan Gomes.

But to really describe what Wild Powwers sound like, Hilgemann turns to the feeling she has when she plays the music.

“It’s getting all this tension out of your body, being aggressive. It’s like a release,” she says. Given Seattle’s crummy weather you just “don’t hear a lot of major chords kind of music,” Flores says.

Wild Powwers with Patrimony and Xray Vsns. Tuesday, March 5 • 9 pm. Old Nick’s. $5 • 21+