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4.0 out of 5 stars They only want what they are not allowed, 1 Feb. 2009
This review is from: The Airing of Grievances (Audio CD)
The Oxford Shakespeare: Titus Andronicus (Oxford World's Classics) is an early Shakespeare play set in in the latter days of The Roman Empire and is a revenge tragedy with over the top violence , mutilations and rape .In the current climate the BBC would turn puce if a new of the block writer offered it to them and politely decline. Anyway naming your band after the play is a statement of sorts I suppose.
This band hailing from Glen Rock New Jersey , given their moniker , have a suitably visceral , aggressive, almost nihilistic approach to music. Trebly guitars that would flay the skin off a saltwater crocodile screech around, drums crack like skulls on kerbstones and singer Sarim Al-Rawl shreds his vocal chords in a manner most uncompromising and committed. There is , according to the sleeve notes, piano and cello in the mix somewhere but I'm beggared if I can hear it. All in all their approach is hugely admirable but is it any good.?Does it get the juices flowing?
I'm pleased to offer a hearty yes to both those self posed questions. The sound may be a touch impenetrable at first but when you bear in mind this is a re-mastered re-release of the album after it first saw the light of day on some tiny U.S. independent label last year you realise how much more incoherent it could have been.
In an age when guitar bands ,with the odd exception, are anodyne peddlers of vacuous indie-lite it's refreshing to hear a band who make a racket without resorting to convoluted fret posturing or trebly bluster. The songs are mostly good enough to escape such allusions .The high velocity title track ,"Arms Against Atrophy " and "My Time Outside The Womb" are especially fine but there is also more to this band than frenetic chords. Both "No Future Part 1" and "No Future" Part 11 The Day After No Future " reveal not only a sly sense of humour but a delectation for shoe gaze style atmospherics.
Final track "Albert Camus" , named after the French philosopher and writer most noted for his ideas on the Absurd and who worked on the theory that everything has its opposite and that happiness is fleeting, is the most punk spittle flecked trash of the lot. Which is apt as these songs about alienation, dissatisfaction, and indifference have an indelible link to the original punk movement not just thematically but in spirit. The lyrics though have an articulacy that comes from more than blue collar dissatisfaction-"we only want what we are not allowed"- and even if the odd song is a bit clunky this debut is already up for most intuitive and thrilling guitar based album of the year.And as far as i am aware no hands were chopped off in it,s making.
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Location: halifax, west yorks

Top Reviewer Ranking: 701