Algiers: The Underside of Power - an electrifying stew of post-punk and hollering Stax soul

Thu, Jun 22, 2017, 11:00


The Underside of Power




 When Algiers’ first album came out in 2015, during the age of Obama, their revolutionary zeal felt somehow out of time. Two years later, post-Sanders and Corbyn, it feels like the zeitgeist has caught up with them.

Maybe that’s why The Underside of Power feels like such a vital piece of work. The title track speaks to frontman Franklin Fisher’s experience of, as he puts it, “the full brunt of institutional force”, and he meets it with utter defiance: an electrifying stew of post-punk and hollering Stax soul. Cry of the Martyrs, and Cleveland are apocalyptic spirituals, while Death March, with its talk of “cryptofascist contagion” goes darker still.

There are echoes of Suicide, Nation Of Ulysses, and the Afghan Whigs among others, but Algiers amount to much more than the sum of their influences. Now is their time.