At the beginning of 2020, with war signs and protests all over the world, nothing could be so reassuring as a new release from Algiers. Since 2012 the band from Atlanta (US) has obtained such a reputation for their political stands in favor of solidarity, human dignity and the fight against police abuses. A left oriented position that has given a political dimension to the Algiers’ music, an original post punk enriched by the soul vocals of Franklin James Fisher; and their live shows represent the status of social events in which people can feel a part of a community united against the brutality of power.
Proud of their points of reference, mainly the great bands of post punk era as P.I.L, Wire and Birthday Party, they have passed from the first album Algiers, an obscure cry against injustice made of industrial patterns, to the sophomore The Underside Of Power, a masterpiece in which gospel, soul and post punk received their holy consecration.
After a long world tour started in 2018, in which they also played with Depeche Mode, Algiers took the responsibility to say something about how we can, as individual and as communities, face the chaos arranged by the political elites. There Is No Year is now in our hands and it is a kick in the face of our last alibis. Through the lens of his personal feelings, Franklin sings the chance to recover innocence through mutual help, dignity and fierce opposition to the oppression killing democracy.
The result is probably their best album so far: less gloomy than the first album, more Depeche Mode than Nine Inch Nails, There Is No Year pushes on the songs to create an accessible alternative rock album. The first song, “There Is No Year”, is a sonic attack led by synths and a breathtaking beat, on which Franklin’s gospel floats. The fantastic “Dispossession” is a dramatic blues in which Franklin reaches the top, singing the dignity of people in a time of deprivation of future by technologic capitalism. “Hour Of The Furnaces”, probably the best track, puts the electronic Depeche Mode’s textures at the service of a desperate spiritual. A slow break is given by the intensity of “Losing Is Ours”, in which Franklin’s soul voice takes over, while “Chaka” remembers us their ability to create powerful dark wave songs and “Void” closes the album with a straight punk shout, pointing out that Algiers are still here with their punk attitude.
There Is No Year is a blessing in this hideous 2020 and (maybe) it will be one of the most important albums of the year.