By Lane Oliver
Born out of the ashes of The United Sons of Toil, Tyranny is Tyranny is a Wisconsin rock quartet whose music is stylistically simpler and heavier than their previous incarnation. Named after a chapter in the late Howard Zinn’s classic A People’s History of the United States, Tyranny is Tyranny take their political platforms and rage against capitalism and filter them a heavy rock filter. Let It Come from Whom It May is the band’s first foray into punishing sound and hopefully will not be their last.
Much like the music of Neurosis and Swans, Tyranny is Tyranny use repetition and tension building restraint to get their point across. The band create these claustrophobic, sometimes sludgy and sometimes noisy, riffs that cycle back and forth with subtle variants before eventually exploding into full on sonic assault. The album comes to a close with two of these kinds of tracks, “The American Dream is a Lie” and “Always Stockholm, Never Lima”. The former of the two tracks slowly ascends with a melancholic, brooding guitar line and bass while gruff vocals expel thought-provoking lines of anarchist intent. “The American Dream is a Lie” builds and builds, becoming heavier and louder with each bar before becoming completely unhinged and wreaking havoc with huge distorted slabs of rock in its final moments. “Always Stockholm, Never Lima” sludgy stunner that’s heavy pretty much throughout but still follows along the same principles as “The American Dream is a Lie”. This track also slowly builds upon itself, adding crushing riff to crushing riff making for a destructive yet melodic seven minutes. Tyranny is Tyranny seem to collect influence from post-punk, post-metal, rock and sludge metal but reject most of the notions of those genres and create their own sound. Tyranny is Tyranny break into Amphetamine Reptile inspired noise-rock jams on the chugging “Down the K-Hole” and the melodic but brash “Owned by Thieves”. They also foray into sludgy, southern inspired rock on “Manufacturing Truth” and even drone and ambient territory on the instrumental “The Haze of Childhood”. Tyranny is Tyranny squeeze in different influences without losing sight of their looming presence. When the band wants to hit hard, they hit very hard. Otherwise, Tyranny is Tyranny create massive atmospheres with their mantra-like riffing.
Let It Come from Whom It May is a great start for Tyranny is Tyranny. Some listeners might be put off by the amount of repetitive riffing on the record but be aware that it is there to serve a purpose. This record is raw, enormous, and full of econo-political ideals that are sure to please the anarchist punk fan in everyone. Tyranny is Tyranny use the right amount of restraint to and experimentation to turn the right amount of heads. It’s heavy without being overbearing and it’s melodic without being trite and sappy. Let It Come from Whom It May is sure to appeal to people with a variety of tastes.
Label: Self released/Phratry Records
Release Date: July 13th, 2013
Favorite Tracks: “Down the K-Hole”, “Apostasy” and “Always Stockholm, Never Lima”
For fans of: Neurosis, The United Sons of Toil, Helmet, and Unsane.