Algiers self titled debut record is a similar beast of burden to its surpassing successor The Underside Of Power. Release two years prior, this record plays with the rawer edge and grit you might expect closer to a formation. Its influences, attributes and roots stand more so exposed and open as the union of sounds frequents dark corridors of shadowy, dread soaked atmospheres. Its bleak resentment drags us down to hell as moments of relief and uplift are far and few between here.
The rattle and snap of Blood's percussion echos the chain gang clank its vocals personify. Subtle gospel, soulful choirs hang heads in the shame of abuse and suffering. Its a song that captures the downtrodden mood and tone of the record. Overpowering, dense guitars wail in a wall of sharp distortion and feedback, playing into the conjuring of a hellish, fearful atmosphere. Singer Fisher cries 400 years a slave, 400 years of torture, driving in the nails that seethe.
The track highlights the records darker tone. It and many of the songs lyrics leap from the page, others addressing police brutality and many horrors linked to the era of slavery it draws its inspiration from. Its electronics are also chained to this path, chirpy, punchy sounds of sequenced snappy beats and stabs reminiscent of 80s Hip Hop find themselves sucked into this abandon. Almost all the sounds from this eclectic tapestry of influences find themselves sinking into terror.
Its a brood, punishing listen fit for overcast skies and the cold of rainy days. At its inception Algiers dive deep into the disgust and dismay of slavery, from a very personal and unforgiving angle that Fisher time and time again ties together with his words. I'm not sure how hearing the records in this record effected my enjoyment but the darker direction and rawer tone smothered some of the magic I expected to hear like on its predecessor. Very impressive record but something restrains my enjoyment.
Favorite Tracks: Blood, Iron. Unity. Pretext.