Reviews

Algiers
The Underside Of Power

(Matador)

8/10

If Algiers’ belligerent debut taught us anything, it’s that Franklin James Fisher doesn’t wear his heart on his sleeve – it comes in an incendiary, gasoline-soaked Molotov.

Charged with the same spirit and breathless urgency, ‘The Underside of Power’ is as vital as it is volatile with Fisher’s fiery vocal providing the bulk of the force and the fury. Wasting no time, opener ‘Walk Like a Panther’ is an instant clarion call of Algiers’ intent – all harrowing, distorted vocals and industrial beats; ‘Cry of the Martyrs’ comes alive with gospel energy, handclaps and twisted spirituality; and title-track ‘The Underside of Power’ hits on a steamroller soul that’s more forceful than uplifting.

It forms the core of a band whose righteous indignation never quite promises revolution but, instead, provides weighty reminders as to why it should happen. So where the breakbeat-driven, call-and-response electro stomp of ‘Cleveland’ cracks with the rage felt in the aftermath of the Tamir Rice shooting, and ‘Animals’ snaps into a taught, venom-spitting, megaphone berating punk anthem to rile the most neutral soul, Algiers also switch gears on the haunting piano balladry of ‘Mme Rieux’ and on the equally subdued, but no less harrowing, ‘A Murmur. A Sign.’

From the political and ideological to the guttural and anthemic, Algiers angry voice remains a protest sound for these restless days and nights.

Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines

As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.

Having thought about the best way to support our running costs (the printing and distribution fees, the podcast and production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for works out at £3 per month for UK subscribers, charged yearly.

If that seems like a bit of a punt, you can pay-as-you-go for £4 per month and cancel any time you like. European and world plans are available too, at the lowest rate we can afford.

It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.