Sunday, May 19, 2024
Social icon element need JNews Essential plugin to be activated.

Straw Man Army’s clear-eyed “SOS” looks hard into a dark future


Placeholder whereas article actions load

Because the curtain falls on Act 1 of this farcical dramedy referred to as 2022, Straw Man Military’s “SOS” already feels just like the album of the yr — sure, in a boring, music-crit-praise-language sort of method, however extra considerably, within the steely, zeitgeist-inside-a-clenched-fist sort of method. This New York punk duo stares immediately into the hybrid catastrophes piling up on the horizon and doesn’t blink.

“Humankind may be laborious to seek out,” goes the album’s opening line, cymbals and guitars flickering in a straight line because the talk-sung narration proceeds to clarify how “species that carry a non secular debt are hunched by the load of these of their type.” These lyrics learn like poetry, however they sound like a nod to the crushing alienation generated by humanity’s numerous existential crises: the intensification of local weather change, the perpetual risk of nuclear battle, the brutal legacies of colonialism, the unsustainable dominance of capitalism and extra. Humankind’s largest downside is itself, and the one resolution we’ve managed to dream up thus far is to cowl our eyes.

However from that time ahead, Straw Man Military — Owen Deutsch and Sean Fentress — refuses to fume, panic, scowl or proselytize. As an alternative, it assesses the stakes, confronting the overwhelming cruelty of the world with a sound that’s deliberate, humane and really a lot its personal. Think about the brittle jangle of post-punk conjoined with the martial rat-a-tat of anarcho punk, however performed with the sensitivity, intimacy and consciousness of jazz, and also you is perhaps getting shut.

At occasions, the blunt-force lucidity of the band’s lyricism threatens to blot out any neighboring sounds — however not on “State of the Art,” a standout monitor concerning the speed-of-life distortions all of us expertise within the hyperconnectivity of the digital age. “Speeds exceed, sustain with the occasions,” they sing in syncopated deadpan. “Wind whips our face up right here, the heights are chic/ Don’t rip the scales from my eyes, I don’t wish to die.” Because the tune’s tempo repeatedly surges and decelerates, you possibly can hear the duo shedding and reclaiming management over their temporal existence till the whole tune feels prefer it’s respiration.

That’s necessary, as a result of this music isn’t about despair. It’s about life. It’s about taking a tough look right into a darkish future and deciding how we would higher defend one another, proper now and tomorrow. (For starters, Straw Man Military is donating all earnings from “SOS” to the jail abolition group Roots Unbound’s commissary fund.)

And simply in case the songs hadn’t already made it bracingly clear, there’s a mission assertion printed on the album’s insert confirming that Straw Man Military’s “SOS isn’t a misery sign” — fairly, it’s “an exclamation, a sudden outburst bearing witness to an ongoing disaster of scale,” they write. “For these of us born after ‘the tip of historical past,’ it’s no simple process determining the place we stand. And right here we’re, making an attempt to get a great have a look at it.”

They sound like they’ve discovered the reality. To see what they see, it’s a must to hear.


Source link

Next Post