Reviews

The 1865, Don't Tread on We! (Mass Appeal Records, 2019)

Powerful, soulful, and relevant; the 1865 band sing from a viewpoint of post-Civil War, purportedly emancipated, newly freed slaves. A comprehensive reading of America’s colossal failure to uphold these rights will tell you otherwise, fables of the Reconstruction indeed.

Anchored by the potent vocals of Honeychild Coleman soaring above a muscular fusion of rock/hardcore/punk/blues that reminds me of a cross between both I Against I and Quickness-era Bad Brains and the underrated German outfit, Jingo De Lunch, at their peak. 

There are some seriously catchy melodic hooks that belie a bittersweet contrast to the horrific subject within: rape, infanticide, lynchings, subjugation, and dehumanization of a people that’s left festering wounds in the ensuing decades.

It's heady subject matter for a “rock” band these days but it is my hope that this album reaches far beyond whatever subcultural ghettos they’ll undoubtedly be put in. 

Photo: Ed Marshall

Kudos to old friend Sacha Jenkins (one of 1865’s guitarists) for always blending the mental aspect and visceral vibes into whatever project he does. Music with a message is at an all-time low point these days, as Public Enemy stated back in 1988: “Armageddon has been in effect, go get a late pass”

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Head to Mass Appeal Records to pick up a limited edition colored vinyl version of Don't Tread on We! You can also click here for other streaming and purchasing options.

The 1865 on Instagram.

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