The time between 2013 debut album Let It Come From Whom It May and its successor The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism has certainly seen no change or lessening in the ferocious incriminations and outrage at the current world and its masters from its creators. Musically though, Tyranny Is Tyranny has used it to evolve and explore bolder and more expansive sonic landscapes and ideation. The US post noise rock band has openly grown in songwriting and sound without losing any of the compelling turbulence and ire which sparked within their first pleasing offering. Indeed the Madison quartet has possibly turned their anger into an even more corrosive and uncomfortable trespass this time around but woven it into sparser yet intimately imposing, and inescapably immersive soundscapes clad in caustic and emotionally stark atmospheres. It is another imposing confrontation which will scare as many as it seduces, and further evidence of Tyranny Is Tyranny emerging as one of rock’s exciting uncompromising challenges.
Inspirations to Tyranny Is Tyranny comes from the likes of Neurosis, Explosions In The Sky, and Fall of Efrafa, essences once again laying as clear seeds in the tempest of The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism, whilst lyrically and emotionally the unjust, corruptive landscape governing our lives is again the influential cancer. Opener Or Does It Explode?, brings swift evidence that musically we are into new territory evolved from the band’s previous successes. The guitars of Jason Jensen and Russell Emerson Hall cast the first descriptive hue, chords a cold and ominous lure as well as the spark to an infectious canter of rolling rhythms and dark yet inviting riffs. Shadows drape every aspect of the lively encounter, coating the raw tones of the Hall’s vocals and fuelling the magnetic post punk bred bassline offered by M. Guy Ficcioto. The song fluidly moves through slow, doomy elegance and raucously aggravated energy across its provocative terrain with the rhythms of drummer Jonathan Brown a perpetual incitement. It is a heavy and welcoming, explosive and fearsome journey for song and ears, an adventure which never settles into one scenic provocation for long and has emotions and imagination riveted from start to finish.
The following She Who Struggles is an instantly sombre affair, guitars and vocals a low key coaxing of emotive unrest courted by punchier rhythms. As it opens up its narrative and nature a surf spiced tang colours sonic endeavour whilst an agitated and emotionally unbalanced raging overwhelms vocals and riffs. Soon song and listener is in a dark place but there is a constant light and escape through the sultry craft and imagination of the guitars. The bewitching nature of the encounter is ravaged and pulled this way and that across the seven minutes of tempestuous imagination, but never gives way or loses its potency as the album continues its impressive start.
Pillar Of Cloud, Pillar Of Fire makes a similar proposal but with the smouldering enticement of Ficcioto’s trumpet a swift success and enthralling lure in a cauldron of volatile textures and emotions, the song is soon sculpting its own unique and extensive questioning. Brown is the protagonist crafting and roaming a tenaciously unpredictable canvas, the guitars and vocals the rich unsettling passion, but it is even in brief moments, the coaxing of trumpet which tugs on thoughts and emotions with the strongest toxicity.
The album’s best track twists and bellows next, Kabuki Snuff Theater a post punk expulsion of creative drama and raw emotional disquiet. It is glorious, bass and drums building an inescapable rhythmic trap which shards of guitar and sonic causticity shape and colour with even more virulent temptation. For all of its easy contagiousness though, there is a ferocity and abrasive challenge to it igniting the passions and setting up the listener perfectly for the closing epic fifteen minute conflict of Victory Will Defeat You. The final song takes ears and thoughts from a raw calm through an emotional and vocal confrontation before luring them into a severely restless and ireful cyclone with a creative turbulence to match. Though finding it slightly too long, the track is a massive and stirring finale to one simply excellent encounter.
The Tyranny Is Tyranny sound has grown up, not come of age as you sense there is still plenty more within band and song writing to develop, but evolved into something masterful and dynamically striking. That has resulted in an uncomfortable and richly enjoyable new offering which will undoubtedly reward the brave.
The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism is available from June 13th via Phratry Records digitally and on CD and vinyl and @ https://tyrannyistyranny.bandcamp.com/