Dälek: Gutter Tactics

I am coming into this with no expectations. I mean, after so many Dälek albums where I tried so hard to get into it only to be so disappointed, I just don’t feel like the band is going to change its tune at this point. They’ve found the formula they like, why would they be moving in my direction?

So, does the band non-meet my non-expectations? The beats and rhymes aren’t anything new. They’re same old same old. However, the sounds are much more inviting. They’re still cutting edge, aggressive; just not as antagonistic. It sounds much more pleasantly dissonant and noisy. And it’s those improved, more inviting sounds that have me negging the beats, because now that I’m not hung up on bracing to force myself through the music, I can focus more on what’s being said and how it’s being said. And it’s just kinda meh.

What I do pick up in the lyrics seems very anti-The Man, anti-The System, etc. And he hates me for not liking him and/or doesn’t care. And oh god, still with this? It’s like a really unfortunate mix of hip-hop machismo, liberal holier-than-thou indignation, and the me-against-the-world attitude of teenage boys.

It’s surprising then that one of the most appealing moments on the album is the opening track, which is Jeremiah Wright’s infamous speech (or at least a big chunk thereof) that drew so much lightning from the right during both of the last Presidential campaigns. At first I hated it because it was so angry, but then I started to hear it as music, and Wright has a keen sense of rhythm, tension, and crescendo. When you combine it with the music that Dälek masterfully puts under it, it kinda kicks ass. (Leaving aside, in this forum, the content of the speech, let alone its pragmatics.)

There’s still too much repetitiveness and too much blah. (If only they would forgo the rapping part.) But for the first time I can kind of tune that stuff out and just get lost in long stretches of the band’s soundscapes, and kind of look forward to listening to this. Maybe the band is coming around…. Nah, better keep my expectations minimal.

– “No Question,” “Gutter Tactics”
– “Blessed Are They Who Bash Your Children’s Head Against A Rock,” “Armed With Krylon,” “Street Diction,” “A Collection Of Miserable Thoughts Laced With Wit,” “Los Macheteros/Spear Of A Nation,” “2012 (The Pillage)”
– “Who Medgar Evers Was…,” “We Lost Sight,” “Atypical Stereotype”
Song Notes: After the jump

  1. Blessed Are They Who Bash Your Children’s Heads Against A Rock – Is this Jeremiah Wright? So America hatey. According to Wikipedia, yes it is. And it is pretty vitriolic. I mean, I can see why those were are kind of predisposed to hate criticism of their country, especially by somebody who looks to them like an “other,” would be really upset by it. I’m pretty upset by it. Wouldn’t want this guy as my pastor. Would be cool to hear poli scitst and linguist discuss. I love what they did with it though.
  2. No Question – Kinda dig this. Probably my favorite entire song on the album.
  3. Armed With Krylon – Totes digging this.
  4. Who Medgar Evers Was… – Eight minutes.
  5. Street Diction – best one? (no)
  6. A Collection Of Miserable Thoughts Laced With Wit – 3:20. big instrumental intro
  7. Los Macheteros/Spear Of A Nation – At 1:50 wondering why I kept this as open. It’s really repetitive at that spear of a nation part.
  8. We Lost Sight – Blegh. It’s a shame that it ends so repetitively (Dälek-y) because it starts so nicely.
  9. Gutter Tactics – Close to a full heart, but I think that would be too much of a stretch. No, no, this is pretty sweet.
  10. 2012 (The Pillage) –
  11. Atypical Sterotype –

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