Kill White Lights –  The Judex (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

KWL_IDEA.jpgIt says something about the world around us when there are people who can name all of The Kardashians but who can’t name 5 congressional leaders, or know just how long it would take to ride from King’s Landing to…some other place in a made up world but can’t point to North Korea on the map. Such is the world we find ourselves  in today, the world where throw away culture and shallow consumerism is more important than political issues, social values and even knowledge and facts. If, like me, you are one of those people who worries about what sort of world we are leaving behind for the next generation and indeed Keith Richards, then maybe we should form a movement, fight back, revolt. And if we are going to revolt, then we need a revolting soundtrack…if you know what I mean…and I know just the guys for the job.

Philly garage-rock guitar slingers The Judex are back, and as always they have a problem with the world around them, the one I have just described. Why are people more interested in whether their favourite character will make it to the next season of a fantasy TV show than if it is even safe to walk their own streets, more interested in the clash of clans that is taking place on their TV than the race, class, political divisions breaking their own society apart? And of course they tackle it in their own inimitable way.

Banshee blues howls and satanic Elvis vocals, chugging guitars, primordial back beats and granite bass lines are all fashioned and bullied into a brilliant onslaught of menacing grooves and maligned melody. It is the sound of the American dream slipping into dystopian decay, the sound of the world shifting into something unspeakable, the sound of the rot setting in. But more than that it is a wake up call, a rallying cry to take notice and to stop papering over the cracks in society, to build bridges not walls.

Recorded with legendary producer Mark Plati who has worked with such game changing artists as David Bowie and The Cure, this track also welcomes new drummer Dalton from anarchist punk legends The Founders and he sounds right at home holding down the tsunami back beats which are the bands anchor.

Music is a great way of getting a point across, of delivering social commentary and political points of view. And this is political, with a small “p,” not party political but more the politics of the man in the street, the man worried about his family’s safety, the man calling for fundamental changes to the way we view the world and people around us. And if you want to make public your concerns about the society you find yourself trapped in why not wrap them up in the grooviest, most urgent and brutal punk-blues punch possible. That’s what The Judex do and do so brilliantly.

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