Algiers Pay Tribute to Tamir Rice in New Song “Cleveland”

The Underside of Power Due Out June 23 via Matador

Jun 13, 2017
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Algiers are releasing a new album, The Underside of Power, on June 23 via Matador. They have previously shared the album's title track, "The Underside of Power." Now they have shared another song from the album, "Cleveland." The song references Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old African American boy who was shot to death by police in Cleveland in 2014 because he was playing with a toy gun in a playground. The song also mentions other "victims of state sanctioned violence," as a press release puts it, including Kindra Chapman, Andre Jones, Lennon Lacy, Sandra Bland, Roosevelt Pernell, Keith Warren, and Alfred Wright. Listen below, followed by the band's upcoming tour dates, which include some stadium shows opening for Depeche Mode.

Algiers' frontman and lyricist Franklin James Fisher had this to say about the song in a press release: "A recurring theme in our music is the idea of injustice and the bitter understanding that obtaining justice in this world is all but impossible-particularly for black and brown people. I wanted the song to sound like the Final Judgment in the Bible, wherein the wicked are judged and condemned by the righteous with all the 'weeping and gnashing of teeth,' of the damned when justice is finally realized. This translates in the 'solo' section of the song. It consists of various recordings of people inconsolably crying and weeping while the guitar and lead vocal mirror their contortions. If you've ever witnessed something like that in real life, sound of a person's sorrow is equal parts frightening and musical."

A previous press release described the album as such: "Touchpoints on this masterpiece include everything from Southern rap to British grime to horror movie soundtracks to late-'70s English industrial to Northern Soul. More vital than ever before, particularly in the wake of our current political climate, the record touches on whiteness, oppression, police brutality, dystopia, and hegemonic power structures." 

Bassist Ryan Mahan had this to say about the album in a previous press release: "This album was recorded in a political environment that collapses the late '70s economic crisis and the looming onslaught of arch-conservative neoliberalism, via Thatcher and Reagan, into the late 1930s, a world driven by fascist nationalism and white power fantasies in the US and abroad." 

The band now features former Bloc Party bassist Matt Tong on drums.

Algiers Tour Dates:

6/15 - Paris, FR - Secret Show
6/17 - Aarau, CH - Kiff
6/18 - Zurich, CH - Letzigrund Stadion *
6/20 - Frankfurt, DE - Commerzbank Arena *
6/22 - Berlin, DE - Olympiastadion Berlin *
6/23 - Berlin, DE - Musik & Freiden
6/25 - Rome, IT - Stadio Olimpico *
6/26 - Milan, IT - Santeria Social Club
6/27 - Milan, IT - Stadio San Siro *
6/29 - Bologna, IT - Dall;Ara *
7/1 - St. Denis, FR - Stade de France *
7/4 - Gelsenkirchen, DE - Veltins-Arena *
7/13 - Vancouver, BC - Cobalt
7/14 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios
7/15 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile
7/17 - Oakland, CA - Starline Social Club
7/18 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo
7/22 - Brooklyn, NY - Baby's All Right
7/23 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
7/24 - Washington, DC - Black Cat

* denotes w/ Depeche Mode

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