Noise

Albums we’ve liked in 2017: Algiers’ ‘The Underside of Power’

Image

Four stars

Algier The Underside of Power

Of this year’s musical rebukes of the Trump presidency—see Kendrick Lamar, Roger Waters, Joey Bada$$ and Moby—none resonate or defy pop conventions quite like Algiers’ sophomore album, a fiery condemnation of the president, Brexit, bigotry and the global power structure.

The Atlanta quartet elevates its post-punk charge and industrial dystopia with gospel vocals—courtesy of frontman Franklin James Fisher and, less frequently, sampled choir harmonies—resulting in a seamless, clarion version of urban blues. There’s a riot goin’ on in “Cleveland,” a churning, righteously aggrieved stew of thunderous beats, taser-click loops, cross-sectioned hosannas and Fisher’s soaring tremolos. If “Cleveland” is pure post-millennial tension, the radio-baiting title track is an ebullient—albeit heavily programmed—update of classic R&B that spazzes and swings equally. And Fisher dissects the neofascist response to Obama’s eight years on the punky “Animals”: “And now the old man’s walking around and around/screaming, ‘It’s my turn!’” From the entitled cacophony of Trump rallies springs Algiers’ glorious noise.

Tags: Music, Album
Share
Photo of Mike Prevatt

Mike Prevatt

Mike Prevatt turned his passion for rock 'n' roll and dance beats into an actual job during his stint as ...

Get more Mike Prevatt
  • Earthless, Neurosis, Black Anvil and, of course, Swans.

  • Frontman Nick Hexum says 311's fans have enabled the band to move beyond "the whims of radio and press."

  • A year and a half in the making, the food, art and music event will debut on August 25.

  • Get More Music Stories
Top of Story