Politics of Existence
This is a modern day, rock interpretation of the \'meat\' in the book of Job. If you are unfamiliar with Job, it's in the Bible. Although the inspiration for this record was taken from this source the upshot is hopefully universal and in no way intended for the ears of only one tradition. And albeit you and I have likely not been stricken with Job-like suffering, our family\'s being massacred and our bodies covered in festering sores and boils, the complaint is timeless. The causes different, often less drastic and perhaps more subtle, but the feeling remains the same. Our world is turning into one where hard work is not valued, where healthcare is a luxury, where massive debt imprisons in a vicious, seemingly endless cycle. Where the advances made in the past are slowly retracted or irrevocably wiped out, either by those with wealth and power, by our own hands, or both. Where systems are in place to frustrate the truly intelligent and creative, boosting the status and egos of those who choose to limit their own knowledge and/or express their creativity with in the confines of the system. This world is analogous to that of Job in our personal reaction more than anything; a kind of despair that attempts to reason with our own psyche, with existence, the creator, or both depending on your world view. This album reflects this kind of reaction lyrically and musically. This is not the musical world where tired simplistic rhythms are lined up insipidly, perfectly, sanitized for your protection. Where voices are tuned after the fact, like Stepford wives, sweetening the highs formulaically. Beat correcting, pitch correcting, air brushing the character out until all just comes out stale. Cheap Nothing uses the same kind of technology in a more expressive, less limiting way, keeping the dirt and the filth out in the open, serving a song first, a concept second and an album third, and never the chimera of precision. \'In general, Politics of Existence is a much more somber album than was it's counterpart, Women's Body Parts. Although the music itself remains upbeat and catchy, especially on songs like Death Tax, This Earth and I Wanna Die, the lyrics take a turn into introspection that reveals existence as a constant struggle that will eventually end in death. Often times the music tends to emphasize the carnivalesque quality of a world in which people smile and carry on through circumstances that are less than optimal. This album deals with difficult issues like addiction, money, the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, and the everyday lies that we all must live with. Vocally the album has been pared back to two lead singers, Malachi Black and Scott Comanzo, although Scott only takes the lead on one song. The opening number, Class Warfare, takes on the all important question of class from the point of view of someone in the trenches and then segues into a number about this same person's take on those people who have gotten ahead early and will likely remain so: "You think you got it but you don't no you don't!" If open rebellion can't overthrow the leaders of the country, bitter sarcasm is the next weapon of choice. Only 22 contains perfectly matched plodding rhythms and words, emphasizing the chorus statement that "Life is over and I'm only 22." No doubt most people in their twenties have at one point or another been caught in this pattern of thinking, no doubt this song captures their emotion perfectly. Malachi Black's voice is perfect for this. "Death Tax" takes a foray into country rhythms with great success. The only song on the album to feature lead vocals by lead composer Scott Comanzo, the song is sung both with good humor and in deadly earnest and takes a shot at student loan officers nationwide. I Wanna Die is rather self explanatory, and offers itself not as an explanation but rather a statement that needs no explanation. The repetitive quality of the song is strangely catchy, and if you aren't careful you might catch yourself singing it at inopportune moments of the day. Be forewarned. Die Live Or Die is the only song on the album not written by Scott Comanzo, but nonetheless, takes it's place nicely here, providing a haunting look at addiction from rock bottom when the only choice seems to be death or life, where one is about as inviting as the other. The chorus expresses this perfectly: "seen this coming, but we know it's far too late, now we're just waiting to die live or die." Noob follows up this statement with something a bit more positive, starting over somewhere. Echos of the plodding Only 22 rhythm can be heard but at a much faster tempo, emphasizing the desperation to break with the past and forget about the future, but to live for what is here and now. Benign Empty Hole contains one of my favorite lines on the album, one of the truest statements to appear in song, "She likes my knowledge of papal history." The small details of relationships begin now to enter into the equation, with the smallest of details often having the biggest effect. Yet, even with the positive subtly entering into the album, the problems and paranoia still remain. "Maybe the best is over..." the singer muses. And is it? Admirable captures the desperation and the sensuality that takes over a relationship, exposing the raw nerves of emotion in a song that is hauntingly beautiful and fiercely possessive at the same time. This Earth returns to the sentiments expressed in I Wanna Die, with as much if not more ferocity.\' - Andrew Anderson author of ... maybe this time and This Book is My Fault.
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