TYRANNY IS TYRANNY - Let It Come From Whom It May
Risen from the ashes of Madison, Wisconsin noise rock trio The United Sons Of Toil, Tyranny Is Tyranny is a new band that continues in the same vein, "focusing on dynamics, repetition and the dismantling of capitalism". Last year, I was rather fond of TUSOT's third and last album When The Revolution Comes, Everything Will Be Beautiful, and therefore didn't lose anytime allocating some of my time to this new quartet.
They call their genre post noise rock, and while the two latter words definitely make sense for me, I don't get the post prefix. Tyranny Is Tyranny, just like their previous incarnation, are still deeply into grimy Nineties noise rock music that recalls the glory days of the infamous AmRep label. The only thing that has really changed is the sound. The quartet packs its intellectual left wing lyrics into mostly long structures full of distorted guitars and a rumbling rhythm section. The production may seem a little on the shoddy side, making the listener feel as if this has been recorded live during a rehearsal. Not that I mind this basic approach, but a clearer, more transparent mix might have added a couple tons of power to the ensemble.
As it is, historian Howard Zinn is still the lyrical mentor of the band, and they have taken their adoration for this author so far that they called their band after the title of the fourth chapter of his book A People's History Of The United States. By the way, if you haven't read this 700 page heavy tome, I strongly suggest you give it a try, as Zinn is having a new look at American history from the perspective of the poor and suppressed masses.
But back to the music: Let It Come From Whom It May can be seen as a work in two parts. The first three songs are among the band's most straightforward material. The opener and first single Manufacturing Truth is a simple, stomping noise rocker that even has occasional hardcore moments. Owned By Thieves is somewhat more melodic, before we get another explosive rocker with Down The K-Hole, where the band uses the ketamine metaphor for any numbing experience like religion, cheap entertainment, sports, war, etc. that lull people into being sheep.
The quiet instrumental The Haze Of Childhood works as an interlude to the album's second part which contains mostly longer tracks that unfold even more hypnotic power. While Apostasy is still a rather concise piece of music, the final two tracks The American Dream Is A Lie and Always Stockholm, Never Lima do their best to use repetition to build up a strong sense of dynamics. It's only by coincidence that a few days before getting this album, I learned about the Lima syndrome, which is the exact opposite of the Stockholm syndrome, and probably hardly ever happens, especially with governments.
Let It Come From Whom It May is another successful entry into the catalogue of the musicians from the more Northern parts of the USA. As I mentioned earlier, the production could have taken advantage of a more transparent sound. For a first album, this is already quite a great visiting card though, and I hope that the Tyranny Is Tyranny will reach a lot of people, as well with their crude Nineties noise rock as with their meaningful political messages. The album can be purchased on CD and vinyl, and is also offered as a pay-what-you-want download on the band's Bandcamp page.