Song of the Week (4/28/17): Algiers – “The Underside of Power”

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Algiers established itself on its debut as a force of political and social justice. It mixed a blunt, chaotic sound with the soulful vocals of Franklin Fisher. On the title track of their follow-up, The Underside of Power, the band’s rebellious spirit is stronger than ever.

Over a slick bass groove and sharp guitar scratches, Fisher vents out all his anger, frustration and helplessness
. But within that voice is also a spark of hope and resilience.


As the singer puts it himself, “To be someone who has known first-hand, the full brunt of institutional force, the feeling of being completely vulnerable to it and powerless against it, is a bitter reality for the vast majority of people
. The image of an insect being squashed by a boot comes to mind. But with that image comes a slightly hopeful paradox: just as all systems have inherent flaws, so does the proverbial boot, which leaves the slight possibility for the insect to creep through and bite back…”

The Underside of Power is out on June 23 through Matador Records.