The League of Assholes ~ IM PEACH The Sequel

Today ~ this very moment, at the time of publication ~ approximately a million American youth are marching in Washington and other locations around the country, protesting the inability of the United States President and Congress to protect their lives.  Where is Donald Trump?  On vacation.

We first met The League of Assholes with their post-inaugural soundscape IN OGRE ATE.  Then came IM PEACH, which despite its aural power had too much Trump in it for our tastes; when the thing we hate is embedded in the thing we love, the whole thing gets polluted.  Now the sequel, a 22-minute sound collage filled with energy and anger, funneling the unwanted aggression born of disappointment.  Where does one start?  The disregard and degradation of women, the dismantling of environmental protection, the dehumanization of transgender individuals, the funds from the N.R.A., the A.D.D.-style governing by tweet?  Two more years, if we live that long.

It takes four and a half minutes for someone to scream in this soundscape, but the entire track can be seen as a scream: a long, primal outpouring of sadness and rage, crumpled into a ball of cacophony.  Listening is extremely therapeutic.  And this time around, there’s no president to ruin things for us; he’s the subject, not the star.  We’re free to take in the burning guitars, red level feedback, dynamic outbursts of electronic sound.  Every so often the music gathers its strength before pouncing again ~ “Iron Man” blasts at 6:42, leading to an Armageddon with choir.  But someone is also playing pretty instruments in the background.  This is why we can’t have nice things, we say.  But we do have nice things ~ sublimated by ugliness, pettiness, and short-sightedness.

There’s a wild energy around the current youth movement, which may find in IM PEACH The Sequel a perfect reflection.  And look ~ there are the assault rifles, right on the cover!  No good American would be without them!  As wave upon wave of drone wash over the listener, they connect to the wave upon wave of bad news, a seemingly-unrelenting assault of updates, from firings to policy reversals, post-truths to non-disclosure agreements.  Who needs net neutrality anyway?  Who needs trees?

Yesterday’s news: the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is now three times the size of France and growing. The recent policies of the United States government have seemed like a Great American Garbage Patch in recent months ~ after all, we’ve been making America great again, haven’t we?  Tongue-in-cheek, IM PEACH The Sequel is a giant garbage patch of music, a mélange that eventually begins to march on its own like a military parade.  Let’s call it an “alternative truth.” We’re not okay.  The kids are not okay.  In this era, children are the leaders while “assholes” expose the uncomfortable fact that the emperor has no clothes.  (Richard Allen)

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