Algiers’ Biblical Punk Wailing On ‘Cleveland’ Paints Police Violence In Appropriately Hellish Shades

Most of the dystopian soul that makes up Algiers‘ upcoming album The Underside Of Power sounds biblical in scope and their latest single is no exception. Lead singer Franklin James Fisher wails to the heavens on “Cleveland,” sounding like a radical preacher who got his choir really into trip-hop and footwork music. James ululation over the continued injustice for black communities gets reinforced by actual wailing.

It sounds like Hell because, for the people dealing with the fallout of state violence, it is.

“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,” Fisher said in a statement about the new track. “I wanted the song to sound like the Final Judgement 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.”

Cleveland follows the upbeat (for them) title track ahead of the album’s release on June 23 via Matador Records. Pre-order it here.