Stark in tone and stark in its regard to the world, Let It Come From Whom It May the debut album from US post noise rock assassins Tyranny Is Tyranny, is a corrosive breath not only upon thoughts and senses but the capitalistic hold of society and man; the band name taken from title of the fourth chapter of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. As with most bands a tag only gives one or two levels and sides of a sound and certainly it is the same with the Madison, Wisconsin quartet. Throughout the seven startling and demanding tracks there are coarse whispers of post punk and doom rubbing their toxicity into the caustic mix to help provide an extensive and exhausting confrontation which wears down and consumes the body from top to bottom, inside and out, whilst simultaneously invigorating the self-same victims alongside enforced thoughts and contemplation.
Tyranny is Tyranny rose from the demise and collapse of United Sons of Toil, guitarists/vocalists Russell Hall and Jason Jensen emerging as an unashamedly confronting and uncompromising fury lyrically and musically, but a tempest carefully and thoughtfully crafted for maximum provocation and success. With bassist/vocalist M. Guy Ficcioto and drummer Ben Aldis alongside the pair, the band creates an oppressive web of stirring and cutting narratives within a senses sapping smog of sonic sludge and rhythmic challenging. It is a bleak and suffering encounter but deviously addictive and impressively accomplished, with a sound and presence which seduces from its first spiteful note to its last threatening breath.
Opener Manufacturing Truth makes a tempting entrance, guitars casting a slow melodic beckoning within a gradually intensifying atmosphere. Soon a sludge heavy blanket lies down upon the energetically growing riffs and awakening concussive percussion, the brewing union flaring with belligerent sinews and rabidity drenched vocal squalls. Elements of Part Chimp and KEN mode stir within the track as arguably does a taste of Black Flag but more dominantly it is a fresh and rapacious provocateur insidiously but welcomingly working upon and seducing senses, thoughts, and emotions.
The impressive start steps aside for the following Owned By Thieves, another song which makes its introduction with a slow and smouldering embrace. The track has a tender hand upon the ear again from guitar whilst a sonic uprising is just initially hinted at, an expulsion further incited by the roaming predatory bass. Strangely there is an indefinable familiarity to the track which teases throughout, at times distracting from the quality and depth of its persuasion as thoughts try to grab onto a suggested name to compare the sound to, ultimately unsuccessfully. It is an immense and enthralling continuation of the opening plateau stepped upon by Let It Come From Whom It May, and a level soon elevated by the outstanding Down The K-Hole. With riffs and bass gnawing upon the senses from its first seconds whilst a sonic hook adds addictive intrigue, the song immediately raises thoughts of early Killing Joke, that same intensive and tight primitive lure and savagery at restrained but potent work. The punk scourges which unleash their bruisings throughout accentuate the ravenous snarl and disdain, adding to a storm of intent and Prong like metallic brutality.
The best track on the album is soon followed by the equally imposing and thrilling instrumental The Haze Of Childhood; the piece an evocative slow soar through emerging menace and elegant key bred emotive caresses into a loss of once safe innocence and consumption of a stark, bleak horizon. It flows straight in its successor Apostasy, the song accepting the set premise and building upon its presence with gentle vocals and a post punk sinister glaze, the track initially parading an invitation not dissimilar to one Wire would offer. Into its full body the forceful persuasive growl and provoking pressure of the vocals and intensity make compelling declarations and impressions on the passions, and though the song does not ignite the fires of earlier songs it is arguably the most powerful and skilful in creating an unavoidable reaction within the listener.
The album concludes with firstly the contagiously repetitive and droning call of The American Dream Is A Lie, its lure a hypnotic seizure as its oppressive nature steals submission for its deceitful sonic promises, and finally the equally mesmeric Always Stockholm, Never Lima. The track in its forceful and sonically scrubbing of the senses induces a total union from the listener to its demands and control, its aggressive but devious enticements another thrilling venture within the album.
Recorded and mixed by Russell Hall and Jason Jensen at The Dock and at The House For Wayward Boys, Let It Come From Whom It May is an outstanding introduction to a band which you sense will make a major impact on noise and caustic political rock for a long time to come. The album is certainly stronger in its earlier presence but only recruits a full hunger from start to finish with its somber erosive incitement. Tyranny Is Tyranny tell it as it is with a noise spawned majesty which is as controlling and merciless as those it rages against, but in a very good appealing way.
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