Dallas's Power Trip Return to Walters With a New Nightmare to Share

Riley Gale, second from left, with Power Trip.EXPAND
Riley Gale, second from left, with Power Trip.
Photo by Renate Winter/Courtesy of Grandstand Media & Management
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It’s been more than three years since the last LP from Power Trip. It feels like it’s been even longer. The Dallas crossover thrash band made a splash with their Southern Lord Records debut, Manifest Decimation, that sent choppy ripples across the U.S. hardcore scene. The band had already been a fixture of Texas hardcore bills at the likes of Walter’s on Washington and Mary Jane’s, but that record ignited a growing appetite across the country for the group’s ferocious buzzsaw riffs and bruising mosh pits. Fans have been anxiously waiting for a followup for more than a year now.

What can you do? Power Trip has been busy.

“It took a while, because we were touring a lot,” says Riley Gale, the group’s singer, as he soaks up the last bit of relaxation at home before heading back out again. “We toured a lot on the last album. So, it was very hard to get time to write and be in a good mental state. When you’re exhausted on the road, it’s hard to be like, ‘Oh yeah, let’s get to the venue early and bang out some new stuff.’ You’re mentally tired.

“You don't always write your best material when you’re out on the road, I don’t feel like,” he continues. “It’s cool when you have a relaxed environment, so we waited for good times to write. It took probably the better part of two years.”

Power Trip’s write-slow, play-fast approach paid off triumphantly on their new album, Nightmare Logic. As fans hoped (and probably assumed), it’s a potent second dose of crunchy, upbeat skate riffs calculated to incite mayhem. The songwriting from riffmeister Blake Ibanez is more self-assured this time out, mimicking the polished, mechanized chug of North Texas legends Pantera but retaining the wilder, red-in-the-face intensity of the Cro-Mags at their heaviest. Gale’s vocals drip with a more manageable level of reverb this time out — powerful but clear.

Power Trip celebrates the new disc’s release this Friday at Walters Downtown, and they won’t have to make themselves feel at home.

“We’ve played there so many times,” Gale says. “The one time we did [hardcore fest] Fallcore at the new Walters definitely stands out. It was awesome! There was a really, really crazy reaction. I have a lot of fond memories there, and at the old one. I’ve been coming to Houston since I was, like, 17–18, and I’m 30 now.”

The band’s current short trek will likely be only a warmup for the extensive touring plans to come. Power Trip held up nicely against some very heavy trips on their previous album cycle, which saw them share stage with hardcore titans like Bane, Terror, Fucked Up and more. They made their first trip to Europe and even opened a string of theater dates for major-label bashers Lamb of God.

Their busy touring schedule has made Power Trip the national and international face of Texas hardcore —heavy music in general, really. It’s a flag the band carries proudly. Gale says they’re already plotting possible incursions into the likes of Australia, Japan and South America. When they do head overseas, it’s likely their attitude and message, like those of other American cultural exports, will come under new scrutiny as the U.S. publicly re-examines its relationship with the rest of the planet.

It’s an idea that Gale is preparing for as best he knows how.

“This record has a lot of the same themes as Manifest does, just trying to find the willpower to kind of, I don’t know, get through this world,” the singer says. “It’s a pretty shitty place, and there’s a lot we could fix that’s no-brainer stuff if everyone would accept the fact that we’re all in this together, if we could just actually acknowledge each other and be peaceful.

“I feel like we’re in some very deep trouble and we really have to pause and think about what we’re going to do in the next ten, 20, 30 years and how this world’s going to develop,” he continues. “I think it’s becoming our responsibility to sort of start pointing those things out and be more upfront about where we stand on certain issues.”

However the band’s message is ultimately received, there should be no shortage of fans outside of Texas lining up to hear it.

“Metal is bigger in other continents,” Gale says. “I hate to say it, but it’s just fact. We’re spoiled on it. [The U.S. is] the hub for music and where a lot of the world looks toward as far as musical trend-setting goes, especially as far as metal and punk goes. That’s not to take away from other countries. But as far as the world goes, they don’t get to see it as often, these American bands. There’s a huge appetite for it, and they don’t always get it.”

There’s a big appetite for Power Trip’s new tunes in the Lone Star State, too, and their dedicated Houston fanbase figures to be more than ready to rip on Friday. Things will get rough up front. The pit at Walters is no place for part-timers, and the craziness is certain to spill onto the stage as well.

Power Trip wouldn’t have it any other way.

“We don’t invite or discourage any certain type of thing at our shows, as long as you’re respectful and mindful of those around you,” Gale says. “Things like the pit, these kind of displays of mock violence, are fun. It’s cool. I like shows when they get intense and kids are flying around everywhere and jumping off the stage. That’s the stuff I really love and thrive on, but just have fun and do what you want to do. Come in with an open mind. That’s it.”

Power Trip takes over Walters Downtown on Friday with Iron Reagan, Skourge, Omertà, and Sexpill. $15. Doors open at 7 p.m.

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