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Monday, December 08, 2008

The sound and the fury: angry music for an angry Westerner

I had originally intended to discuss the soulless city of Phoenix, Arizona and the few bright lights of its culinary/wine scene, but the current political situation in Canada has me thinking about music -- angry music.

One particularly angry album that has been getting heavy rotation in my CD player is Okemah and the Melody of Riot, the second most recent album recorded by alt-country legends Son Volt. While fans were dubious about front man Jay Farrar’s decision to dispense with the original band line-up that had produced 3 solid albums (Trace, Straightaways and Wide Swing Tremelo) and build a new band around him, one listen of this album confirms that decision was a good one.  This incarnation features a lot less twang and a lot more rock n' roll.  The blazing guitar work of Brad Rice is proof enough that the then new line-up is rock solid.

Many of the songs focus on anti-Bush and anti-Iraq war themes (see “Jet Pilot” and “Endless War”) and your affection for those songs will likely hinge on your views on those issues, but it is “Six String Belief” that seems to speak (in an American voice) to the current power grab by the NDP- Bloc-Liberal coalition and provides a simple prescription in its lyrics:

The declaration framers state

Revolution sets the course straight

It was necessary then, and it’s necessary now

Corruption in the system, a grass roots insurrection

Will bring them down, will bring them down

If it’s an angry political album that the current state of Canadian politics has you craving, give this album a spin. You won’t be disappointed.

Posted by Knox Harrington on December 8, 2008 in Canadian music | Permalink


It sounds like someone put the Declaration of Independence to music. I'll have to pick it up.

Posted by: Mudflap | 2008-12-08 10:01:54 AM

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