Free Thing of the Week: …checking system…disruption detected

Illustration by Stranger Wolf. CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0

It’s probably obvious but many of The Seattle Star’s allegedly respectable staff are actually anarchist punks. If arrested they will deny this, but they may still smash your face in if you vote for Bruce Harrell because Jesus, dude.

Whatever their politics, they like this fast, loud punk rock album from France’s Louis Lingg and the Bombs. They think you will, too.

It’s been a minute since Louis and Co. released their last brilliant studio album Favela Ninja. The COVID-19 pandemic put a chokehold on live shows and stifled other creative outlets for artists across the world. But according to Josh, lead singer for LL&TB, it drove him also to deep introspection about how fucked up the world was. “It felt like a lockdown in a brutal prison complex,” says Josh, “and it wasn’t the most creative environment to be in. ‘Freaky Deaky,’ was written after the first confinement when I started to see the cracks forming in the mental health of all the people around me. We wanted to capture the claustrophobic and hysteric feeling of powerlessness of the lockdowns.”

The other songs have similar inspiration. “Nowhereland” is a kind of paean; Josh calls it “a pandemic anthem” After a horrible year of no inspiration and not much more hope, LL&TB got back to the grind and devised this coarse, oddly cheerful song. “The lyrics are pretty brutal, fragmented and disjointed because I had to show the callous and barbaric reality of the situation,” as Josh says. Yet the song is positively uptempo. “The Dispossessed” draws from the Ursula LeGuin novel of the same name, and is a tribute to feminists in the anarchist movement and the political vision of the late author.

Other songs hit just as hard. From the eerie “Breathe Out” to the oddly brusque cover of Charli XCX’s “Break the Rules,” this album is on fire, a defiant cry for freedom as the walls of society close in, crumbling.

Download Louis Lingg and the Bombs – …checking system…disruption detected from BlocSonic here

Download Louis Lingg and the Bombs – …checking system…disruption detected (MP3) from The Seattle Star here

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