Katie Alice Greer: Barbarism (FourFour) - review | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, August 7th, 2022  

Katie Alice Greer

Barbarism

FourFour

Jul 28, 2022 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Throughout her recording career, now over a decade old, Katie Alice Greer has always been a provocateur, but that has just made her ahead of the curve. This goes all the way back to the debut cassette releases of her old band Priests, who disbanded in late 2019 after two full-length albums, a 12-inch EP, an incredible debut 7-inch, and the aforementioned cassettes, dubbed Tape 1 and Tape II. On Tape II, the stand out track, “USA (Incantations),” boldly deconstructed the lies and myths we are taught daily in order for American society to keep functioning, but given the news these past few years, it feels less radical or even “political” and more like a prediction for a dystopian future as we continue wrestling with our past even while the present presents its own challenges.

So what does she do now for her debut solo album (following several EPs credited to her initials KAG), delayed perhaps due to the pandemic? Well, instead of something explicitly political or anything resembling her old band, aside from perhaps “FITS/My Love Can Be” for the latter, we have a set strongly influenced by the more experimental side of “post-punk” as well as noise, power electronics, and early industrial music (think Throbbing Gristle or early Cabaret Voltaire). This is, of course, appropriate for modern times and the situation we find ourselves in, but given that it was made during the pandemic, it’s fitting that throughout the course of this album, it sounds like everything falling apart at once.

The throbbing, minimalist clash of the human voice and machine rhythms on “No Man” (which samples a poem by Dorothea Lasky entitled “Porn”) is particularly chilling, as are both parts of “Flag Wave,” which samples a Bernie Sanders speech and sets it to the click of a typewriter. If this is the soundtrack to society melting down or changing before our eyes, well then at least we have Greer evoking the industrial rhythms of her native Michigan, almost a modern take on Iggy Pop’s “Mass Production.” (www.katiealicegreer.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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