If you are looking for a progressive band with the social conscience, passion, and righteousness of The Clash, the (International) Noise Conspiracy, or Rage Against the Machine (RATM) — look no further! Indeed, The Last Internationale (TLI) even boasts RATM’s drummer, Brad Wilk, in addition to smokin’ hot singer/bassist Delila Paz and guitarist Edgey Pires. We Will Reign, the band’s first major-label foray, does not disappoint, and Paz could well be the heir-in-spirit to such outstanding frontwomen as P.J. Harvey, Patti Smith, and Grace Slick. TLI’s old-school influences include iconic folk heroes Odetta, Woody Guthrie (the group’s version of “Deportees” was released as a video), Buffy Sainte-Marie (“Cod’ine” was covered on an earlier album), and Bob Dylan. As for contemporaries, the group cites The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, The Kills, and Dead Weather. The bombastic anthem “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Indian Blood” sets the course, borrowing the rhythm from the ’60s classic “Cherokee Nation,” while Paz proclaims: “We’ll burn the streets / Regrow the forest / We’ll rob the richest / Give to the poorest!” “Wanted Man,” intriguingly, takes the Dylan/Cash template, adds different lyrics and a disco beat, and produces one hell of a great song. On the heavy-duty “Killing Fields,” Paz exhorts: “You think that flower power will make them stop / Bang Bang Bang, baby, here comes the cops / Power is power, love, no matter who’s on top.” A sultry cover of Burt Bacharach’s “Baby It’s You” lightens the atmosphere on the album’s second half, while the rootsy, blues-wailing “Fire” finds the band ablaze. But “1968” is Reign’s standout track, on which Paz convincingly chants: “The more I love / The more I feel like making revolution / The more I make revolution / The more I feel like making love,” while Pires shreds and Wilk decimates the kit. Ah, the struggle continues!
The Last Internationale
We Will Reign
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
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