Algiers takes haunting southern gothic blues to a contemporary and awake level. Their sound is innovative in noise and distortion elements, and it has obvious connections to what we have heard and continue to hear from Nick Cave. But it’s just a facet of what this amazing band offers. The industrial elements are clean and striking, and the messages go deeper than old South fantasies and legends. The lyrics, sung by Franklin James Fisher, cry out and rage against our current political and social ills, especially against continued racial prejudices and crimes perpetrated against the Black American community.
Here is an excerpt from an Algiers interview with NPR, concerning their recent single ‘Cleveland”.
“The meaning of this song’s title is twofold: It’s based around a sample of the gospel song ‘Peace be Still’ by Rev James Cleveland, but it’s primarily meant to invoke Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old black boy who was shot and killed by police in Cleveland, Ohio in November 2014.
“I wanted the song to sound like the Final Judgement in the Bible, wherein the wicked are judged and condemned by the righteous with all the ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth,’ of the damned when justice is finally realized. I like how this translates in the ‘solo’ section of the song. It consists of various recordings of people inconsolably crying and weeping, while the guitar and lead vocal mirror their contortions. If you’ve ever witnessed something like that in real life, the sound of a person’s sorrow is equal parts frightening and musical.
“In my spare time, I read a lot of blogs and listen to podcasts about unexplained deaths and missing persons — especially when it concerns corruption within state and legal institutions. The cases of some of the individuals mentioned in the song — Kindra Chapman, Sandra Bland, Andre Jones, Keith Warren, Alfred Wright — are so obviously criminal but they’ve been all overlooked and forgotten except by their loved ones who are still fighting for answers and justice. People need to know about these cases. They’re definitely not isolated and it’s a phenomenon which has been ongoing since the founding of this country.” — Franklin Fisher
Apocalyptic gospel punk. That’s one description I read. This music is powerful. It’s deep emotionally and texturally. We’ll be following up for sure. Please go search for them on Spotify and run through their top 5 songs, then you’ll know.
Here are a few tracks to chew on, the aforementioned ‘Cleveland’ and ‘Walk Like a Panther’. Enjoy!
XOXO Stylee from Tiger Top