Tyranny is Tyranny create a pretty heavy sound for four people. With Russell Emerson Hall and Jason Jensen on vocals and guitar, M. Guy Ficcioto on bass and vocals and Ben Aldis on drums, the band creates a demanding and achingly slow hard rock-noise rock hybrid. The album is only seven tracks but is a full-length time wise, many songs going over five minutes. Think Pissed Jeans slowed down. And the band takes a strong, anti-capitalist approach. They seem to take on the same political fervor as Propagandhi, though aimed at a different target. Their leftist lyrics add a different element to their post-noise rock genre.
The album’s first two tracks – “Manufacturing Truth” and “Owned By Thieves” take more of a direct approach, coming off as decent, heavy rock songs. “Down the K-Hole” is heavier, though, and a little faster. The vocals are more intense and the central rhythm is crunchier, more chord-based. “The Haze of Childhood” is a quiet, instrumental interlude at the album’s physical midpoint (though actually coming earlier time-wise). It’s a welcome break before the intensity kicks up again. “Apostasy” starts off with the same rhythm as the previous song, building into a properly heavy song with a grinding central line. The sixth song, “The American Dream is a Lie,” acts as the first of two magnum opuses, a heavy and constantly changing song. The second, “Always Stockholm, Never Lima” is a destructive finale, feeling like it brings the album to a close.
The vocals contributed to the album are sometimes screamed, sometimes just aggressively sung. Overall, they resemble some of those very heavy but radio-friendly hard rock bands of the early ’90’s (your Sepultura and so forth). The band’s somewhat lo-fi recording makes the lyrics unintelligible at points, but they still contribute to the album. Very liberal rock bands tend to have their own goals, and Tyranny is Tyranny feels no different. They still have some kinks to work out, but Tyranny is Tyranny sounds like the beginning of a good political post-noise rock band.
The album can be found here.
-By Andrew McNally