Power Slaves – Up The Tempo

The statement on the Power Slaves website, that the band indulge in '100% rock n roll' is certainly no empty boast. Check out the clip of their track 'Indonesia'.rock n roll
This bears all the hallmarks of a classic rock video, with close-ups of the various instruments are they are introduced to the track. There are jump cuts to a sea of youthful hands brandishing the national red and white halved flag, and at 0:30 this is expanded to silhouettes defiantly punching the air along with the rousing music. As enemy airplanes cruise past threateningly, the hands grasp larger flags to wave in defiance.
The intimacy of the video transforms at 0:49, as the cameras introduce a clip of Power Slaves performing before a crowd of adoring fans, hands (and Indonesian flags) thrust into the air. The song progresses, gaining in power, and the silhouettes seem to grow ever more prepared to defend their country, producing weapons which are waved menacingly.
While all this makes for an effective backdrop, it is the live clips that really bring home the band's latent power. The vocalist continually gestures to the adoring audience, imploring them to hang on to his words, with the band producing suitably strident chords. At one point there is an effective shot of a guitar, with the camera clipped to the head, focussing on the fretboard. The keyboard player, face masked by ubiquitous cool shades, layers the track with melodies, while the guitarist thrashes out his licks beneath a white stetson (managing to look far cooler than when U2's The Edge used to wear one!)
The vocals alternate dramatically between atmospheric crooning, rising to a powerful crescendo at 2:12. Heydie Ibrahim certainly has a full range, conveying all the atmosphere that is required. Guitarist Kolem kicks into a soaring solo, while the rhythm section of drummer Vidi, second guitarist Randy and bassist Anwar Fatahillah, together with keyboard player Mandy, ensure that each aspect of the song gathers momentum.
By 2:45 the thunderous crescendo has died down to a gentle verse, allowing the crowds to join in. Heydie is seen amongst the fans at the front, bravely continuing with the song as the adulating spectators clamour for the microphone.
The climax of the song occurs with the musicians taking theirfoot off the throttle for a moment, allowing the baying crowds to take the lead (which prompts Mandy to cup a palm to his left ear, goading them that they are not singing nearly loud enough). As the music faded, only the drums remain, tapping out a military tattoo.
This is a terrific example of how Power Slaves are able to whip up their fans by employing a mixture of melody and amplification. Unlike a lot of rock music, where volume seems to be the be all and end all, this Indonesian band can certainly rock, but they can also carry their fans along by producing excellent songs that are also atmospheric.
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