Tyranny is Tyranny – Let it Come From Whom it May

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Tyranny is Tyranny
Let It Come From Whom It May
Phratry

Tyranny is tyranny, let it come from whom it may’. Sound familiar? It certainly will be if you’ve ever read the works of Howard Zinn, the American historian, political scientist and social activist who contributed with one of the most important works of American historical literature, with his powerful take on America’s past and present in the shape of ‘The People’s History of the United States’, read through the eyes of common people than the elitism of political and economic ranks. Assigned as reading in many US colleges and high schools, it seems that Zinn’s legacy lives strong in the sound of Tyranny is Tyranny. Containing in their ranks two of the United Sons of Toil, in the shape of guitarists/vocalists Russell Emerson Hall and Jason Jensen, their debut album ‘Let It Come From Whom It May’ picks up the baton from the USoT and is in itself a scathing assessment of American capitalism, evident in its overtly glaring song titles and excellently strung together lyrics. Not that there are many words; Tyranny Is Tyranny don’t require the use of many lines to get their message across. If you were to compare it to their previous band, arguably it’s a bit more expansive – amidst the rage of tracks such as ‘Down the K-Hole’ there’s the odd injection of post-rock pumped into their collective veins. ‘Owned by Thieves’ is a stand-out track, starting with something of said needle before getting into its subject matter – the recession and the recovery from it. ‘Steady as she sinks/boom and bust/a bare existence/numbed by lust/How much is enough?’, comes the initial rhetoric, before the song stretches into a wonderfully epic sounding cry of ‘thrashing in the water’. The post-rock forays continue with the instrumental ‘The Haze of Childhood’, directly connected to the following track ‘Apostasy’, before arriving at the simmering ire of ‘The American Dream is a Lie’, declaring the dream ‘never lived’, eventually building into a thunderous call of ‘stillborn’. It’s the album’s truly powerful moment – they’re not the first nor the last to take such a pessimistic view of their country’s national ethos, but such a powerful word provides a chilling take on what they perceive as their country’s failure to be unilaterally upwardly mobile, fair and equal for all. If only people could at least come down to this level to reach an open-eyed and undiminished view of the real world, rather than the blinkered faith in the people who seemingly control them, with the blurring of the lines of choice becoming seemingly hazier.

Let It Come From Whom It May’ is available now as a name-your-price download, CD, and soon will be available on vinyl. A rousing free and forward thinking piece of rock that stands tall amid the cluttered ramblings of the inane. 

Peter Clegg

Buy/download ‘Let It Come From Whom It May’ here

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