Now that I've reviewed music in a public format for about 10 years, I try to vary how I approach every record. With certain projects or bands, such as Suicide by Citizenship, I choose to give immediate first impressions. With collaborative releases, as much as I love researching and I know I'll be researching later anyway, in order to hopefully avoid a convoluted perspective; I will be writing based more off of my instinct reactions.
While I'm not familiar with the work of Walking Bombs, I've been following Gridfailure for a while now out of curiosity and from being familiar with David Brenner through emails related my writing and photos about various others bands. Four out of eight songs in and the main note I want to present is that while there may not be clear cut connections between every song, this record seems to have a natural cohesion in how it is sequenced which is not easy. If you add in the experimental nature of David Brenner (Gridfailure) and Morgan Y. Evans (Walking Bombs) musical output as well as the varied collaborators they worked with on this release, I think it'd be fair for some to think any flow or cohesion in the material would be impossible but Suicide by Citizenship is a uniquely unified experience that I think is meant to throw the listener as off balance as it is to pull them in.
"Now we Know who you Are", the fifth track on the record and second longest piece, was made in collaboration with Thomas Andrew Doyle (TAD, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth) BJ Allen (Full Scale Riot), Benjamin Levitt (Megalophobe) as well as Kali Quinn & Nick Vinning. Amongst the chaotic noise, guitar screeches and shrieks, and tribal drums; you'll find lyrics addressing the current political environment of the US and specifically honing in on the Charlottesville or Unite the Right rally. In a time where it'd be very easy to keep your thoughts private in order to have an illusion of safety, the lyrics are thought-provoking and a healthy reminder that hatred needs to be called out.
"Packing rifles instead of morals hate speech versus brains
Stomped innocent protesters, even killed that woman with your fucking car
You thought you got away after leaving your trail of turmoil
Too fucking dumb to think about cameras; now we know who you are
Your face is on the news, we despise you for your inverted views
You only caused a scratch where you thought you left us scarred
You are not getting through, we’ll fight you to the fucking end
And never ever forget, now we know who you are"
I'd strongly recommend for all fans of heavy and experimental music to spend time with this record, I know I'm already planning to listen a few more times through during this week. It's projects like this that remind me why I enjoy sharing music with any and all people in that it can both open their ears to new sound as well as open their minds to productive and relevant topics. Here are a couple of quotes from both Morgan Evans and David Brenner about the record itself.
Evans states, “Dave and Jay have been stalwart pals in the music scene of mine for ages, so it was awesome to capture this moment in time with them sonically, to say nothing of the other killer guests. This album to me represents people’s faith in the American Dream being exploited, ground up and spit out by gerrymandering, self-important Christo-fascists, and unchecked capitalist greed. It’s a total farce to think corruption won’t run rampant in a society with no checks and balances.”
Brenner offers, “While our styles are vastly different when we got into a room together and hit record things just happened organically. Three friends came in with the concept only; absolutely everything else musically and lyrically bloomed from that. Our planet is in peril, the party governing our country is a disgrace, tensions and turmoil amongst us are out of control, and we’re being divided further apart every day. This album is meant as a cumulative human cry for unification and progression, and a warning shot to the perpetrators.”
Nefarious Industries will release Suicide By Citizenship on eco-wallet CD and all digital platforms on Friday, April 26. Pre-order the album here.