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June 19, 2017 7:15 AM   Subscribe

Algiers - "The Underside of Power" (video). "On June 23, Matador Records will release [Algiers'] second album, The Underside of Power, a work of political critique that draws on and repurposes aggressive '80s punk, Italian horror soundtracks, modern-day hip-hop and R&B, film, literature, current events and continuing tragedies, all conceived as national politics on both sides of the Atlantic were boiling over. If there's anything in their history that the members do agree on, it's that the group — named for The Battle of Algiers, the 1960s film about an anti-colonial uprising — has always prized a collective instinct, where no one vision is definitive." Ned Raggett for NPR, on the band Algiers and their stunning new album.
posted by naju (18 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
the singer reminds me a bit of Arthur Lee
posted by thelonius at 8:24 AM on June 19

Only 2 tracks seem to be streamable on Apple Music. I hope this doesn't become a trend
posted by Space Coyote at 9:10 AM on June 19

Only 2 tracks seem to be streamable on Apple Music. I hope this doesn't become a trend

The album doesn't come out until Friday. I'm certain it will be up in full at that point.
posted by mykescipark at 10:44 AM on June 19 [1 favorite]

Ah my bad I just saw the release date when reading this again.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:38 AM on June 19

Guess I might've jumped the gun on posting. I'm pretty excited about this band.

Anyway, here's "Cleveland", which is about Tamir Rice and police violence. Lyrics
posted by naju at 11:58 AM on June 19 [1 favorite]

In case you haven't heard Algiers' stunning self-titled first album, check out Blood, a mesmerizing song and a video clip that summarizes 60 years of pop culture and world-wide radical politics in less than 5'.
posted by talos at 12:50 PM on June 19 [3 favorites]

This is sorta like Diamanda Galas, isn't it? Or a little bit like the Make-Up, but less self-impressed?

I was prepared very much not to like this, because frankly every asshole dude grad student I've ever met loves, like, aggro eighties punk and Italian horror and would just lerrrrrrvvv to be in a theory-heavy band with Very Serious Musical Credentials.

But this is fantastically good. It's like someone reached directly into my brain and made music that did almost everything I could possibly want music to do.

You know what is weird? The internet has made it so that you hear about good bands on NPR. It's difficult for me to get past my pre-internet upbringing, where everything that you would possibly hear on mainstream radio would be at best well-done but trite, and anything you heard about on fucking NPR would be....well, joke doesn't even begin. And yet this is good!
posted by Frowner at 5:10 PM on June 19 [5 favorites]

[Listens more]

The best. You guys, this is perfect. Like the if you crossed Henry Cow's "Living In The Heart Of the Beast" with Spoek Mathambo's "Gunboat". It's like the Art Bears' The World As it Is Today if it were the sung version of A Grin Without A Cat.
posted by Frowner at 5:27 PM on June 19 [1 favorite]

I like the music, but the video leaves me feeling I watched a pepsi ad.
posted by Catblack at 5:55 PM on June 19

I think the pepsi ad leaves you feeling like you watched a deracinated, soft-pedaled, lie-filled version of the radical cinema of the late sixties and seventies, actually. You might find "A Grin Without A Cat", "Finally Got The News", any Weekend/post-Weekend Godard...gee, I think even early Soviet cinema...well, those might help you to overwrite the pepsi commercial.
posted by Frowner at 6:18 AM on June 20 [1 favorite]

the video leaves me feeling I watched a pepsi ad.

This video could be called The Children of Marx and Coca-Cola Pepsi.

I dug their first album and after listening to the first two cuts a few days ago, I cannot wait for this.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:40 AM on June 20

This is interesting and I think I like it, but I really should have listened before reading the story because that does them no favors.

And I am not hearing those listed influences, this sounds nothing like what I was expecting from the description.

draws on and repurposes aggressive '80s punk, Italian horror soundtracks, modern-day hip-hop and R&B

"repurposes". Oh Lord.

I'm going to have to buy the record and listen without prejudice.
posted by bongo_x at 12:37 PM on June 20

draws on and repurposes aggressive '80s punk, Italian horror soundtracks, modern-day hip-hop and R&B

Yeah, those aren't the influences I'd choose, either. My go-to description is 23 Skidoo meets Northern Soul. Or Gang Of Four meets Marvin Gaye. But, you know, dancing about architecture and all that.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:53 PM on June 20 [4 favorites]

Gang Of Four meets Marvin Gaye.

Woah, you are way better at that. I think you nailed it.
posted by bongo_x at 12:59 PM on June 20 [7 favorites]

"Political gospel-punk" was how I heard 'em described before this article. Works for me.
posted by naju at 4:06 PM on June 20

I'm starting to feel like all guitar Rock is Punk now, like all electronic music used to be Techno, until it became Dubstep.
posted by bongo_x at 4:17 PM on June 20

The whole album is out. It's very, very good.
posted by schmod at 10:44 AM on June 27 [1 favorite]

Just saw them here in Seattle, initially interested in them by this post, but further intrigued by their heavy rotation on KEXP.

My description is if Motown hired Chuck D to produce Suicide with James Brown fronting and singing gospel hymns and plantation songs. This is the most important band of 2017 and their live show does not disappoint. Seeing them live was what I'd imagine seeing the Clash in 1979 or Public Enemy in 1984 would be like. I'm all in on this.

Please, if you get the chance, see them now while it's fresh and vital and meaningful in an era where black people are *still* dying meaningless deaths so white people can feel like they are showing them their place. These guys, more than anyone I've heard yet, are the soundtrack to the resistance.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:06 AM on July 16 [1 favorite]

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