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September 02, 2003 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-09-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

MMM"

Tuesday
September 2, 2003
michigandaily.com
artseditor@michigandaily.com

ARTS

1OA

4

-o-l-mmml-----9

South rises again on Kings' debut

By Scott Serilla
Daily Arts Editor

Brief recap of the Followill clan's
overexposed rock pedigree - Ten-
nessee brothers Caleb, Nathan and Jared
spend their formidable years touring the
Bible Belt with Pentecostal minister
father. Boys forsake church to form a
dixie-fried garage rock band, Kings of
Leon, with cousin Matthew. Foursome
quickly picked up by major label and
head to Britain to seek fortune.
With just enough raw honky-tonk
crunch and creative facial hair to win
over English rock _...._.___.__
scribes and Noel Kings of
Gallagher, boys Leon
declared next big
thing by ravenous Youth &
glossy tastemak- Young
ers at NME and Manhood
Rolling Stone, RCA Records
who predict a sec- _
ond coming of
Skynard soon to follow.
Well no swipe at the Followills'
mighty full-length debut Youth & Young
Manhood, but the Kings really are real-
ly aping the faux-Southern stomp of

4

4

Our dads, circa 1973.

CCR and Neil Young, rather than the
more authentic but not-as-immediate
twang of Skynard or the Allman Broth-
ers. And frontman Caleb's growl on
"Wasted Time" and lead single "Molly's
Chamber" more to Mick Jagger than
Hank Williams.
Like the rest of their retro-minded
peers, the Kings draw plenty of their
rudimentary, taut kick from combining
shorthand of their old school influences
with gritty storytelling. For being

preacher's son the boys seem a little too
familiar with the dark corners of sleazy
small town life.
"Joe's Head" plays a murder for a
few laughs, while the epic build-up of
"Trani" crosses paths with drugs and
fallen women, playing off the drunken
narratives of the King's kindred alt-
country rock spirits, Drive-By Truckers.
Overall, Youth bleeds effortless, neo-
good ol' boy potential.
Can I get an amen?

DING j UDily

Sound system gonna bring me back up. One thing that I can depend on.

FRESH, YET RANCID
INDESTRUCTIBLE PROCLAIMS PUNK CAN NEVER

DIE

Godspeed side project evolves

By Joel Hoard
Daily Music Editor

What makes Rancid so unique and separates them
from all of the other punk revival bands of the past
decade is that wonderfully sentimental and unpunk
streak that is evident even when
they're rocking their hardest. It's R
that quality that allows them to wear anCId
mohawks and tattoos and sing lines Indestructible
like "I'm not looking for a fight Hellcat Records
now / And I don't care who's wrong
or right now / So release the dove into flight now" with-
out even a hint of irony.
Due in no small part to a pair of tragic events, gui-
tarist/singer Tim Armstrong's painful divorce and the
death of punk legend Joe Strummer, Rancid's emotional
side is more evident than ever on Indestructible, the
band's sixth record. It manifests itself most clearly in
Armstrong's slurred yet affecting vocals as he pays trib-
ute to his hero: "And I keep listening to the great Joe
Strummer /'Cause through music we can live forever."
Consequently, Indestructible is Rancid's most varied
work to date, running the gamut from raucous punk on
"Django" and "Travis Bickle" to serene balladry on
"Arrested in Shanghai." Written in the Rancid tradition

of up-with-people anthems, "Start Now" and "Stand
Your Ground" rock happily and positively. Lead single
"Fall Back Down" marks a return to the hooky, accessi-
ble style that made "Ruby Soho" a hit eight years ago.
Additionally, elements of Tim Armstrong's hardcore
punk/hip-hop side project, the Transplants, seep in when
vocalist Rob Aston
drops in for some . ...
white-boy gangsta rap '
on "Red Hot Moon."
Six records and more}
than 10 years together .,"7 .
have developed a £
Lennon-McCartney- 0
style relationship
between Armstrong and
fellow guitarist/singer
Lars Frederiksen. Egos
are checked, and a
sense of mutual respect emanates as they share song-
writing, guitar and vocal duties.
While still maintaining punk rock's trademark youth-
ful exuberance, Rancid show an emotional maturity
that a decade in the business has given them. Not only
are they unafraid to show their earnest side from time
to time, they do it proudly. Looking both sentimental
and hip is a tough thing to do, but Rancid pull it off
brilliantly.

By Andrew M. Gaerig
Daily Arts Writer

Few post-rock fans can deny God-
speed You! Black Emperor's beautiful
guitar and string cacophonies, though
the band's high-handed political views
have always been a cause for concern. A
Silver Mt. Zion,
which consists of F . :,._Al

six core members
of the GYBE
camp, have always
warmed fans'
hearts by trading
vague political
views for, well,
vague spirituality.
Not that
ASMZ are the

4

A $ilver Mt.
Zion
"This is Our
Punk Rock,"
Thee Rusted
Satellites
Gather + Sing
Constellation Records

salvation in the face of death better
than just about anyone.
Hints of social unrest showed up
in 2001's Born Into Trouble as the
Sparks Fly Upward, and "This Is
Our Punk Rock"... continues the
trend. Ringmaster Efrim actually
sings on all four tracks, and while
he's no virtuoso, his apocalyptic
Neil Young creak is somewhat
endearing, even given the dire
nature of his lyrics.
The vocals are most effective on
the gospel inspired coda of "Good-
bye Desolate Railyard" and the
haunting choir chant of "Sow Some
Lonesome Corner So Many Flowers
Bloom."
Despite the newfound reliance on
vocals, the band still preaches most
effectively with lengthy, orchestral
passages. The strings that erupt dur-
ing "Sow Some Lonesome Cor-
ner..." are both achingly beautiful
and somewhat disturbing.

The searing guitar march of
"American Motor Over Smoldered
Field" is as vicious as anything the
band has put to tape, and the orgy of
voices and strings that flood "Baby-
lon Was Build on Fire/Starnostars"
are as effective for their rumbling
buildup as they are for their striking
melodicism.
The vocals, as well as the song
titles, betray the band's political and
spiritual intent, but tolerance of the
band's hazy mantras is essential.
Like the trashiest of pop songs, the
appeal of "This Is Our Punk
Rock"... isn't in the message, but in
the hook.
ASMZ crafts their hooks out of
jagged string sections, harrowing
gospel bonfires and scorching
white-noise fever. This is commu-
nity music filtered through alleys
and train yards and abandoned
buildings, as gorgeous as it is dev-
astating.

A1

I

Sunday-go-to-meeting type, but
they've mined the potent fields of
fire and brimstone preaching and

INTO THEATER?
Then we want you to attend our
MASS MEETING
MONDAY, SEPT. 8. 7:30 p.m.
Henderson Room, Michigan League
" directors * singers * dancers
" actors * chorus * tech * orchestra
Find out how to be a part of our 2003-4 seaon:
LEAVE IT TO JANE The 1917 musical by Bolton,
Wodehouse and Kern, done in concert form. OCTOBER 2003
THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT Rossini's first
comic opera. One act, but it's a hoot! JANUARY 2004
DIE FLEDERMAUS Strauss' famous operetta
with its gala party atmosphere. Like to waltz? APRIL 2004
Can't make the meeting but need information?
CALL 973-3264, or email constu@comcast.net

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