“… from the cornfields you sing to me; all to the farmhouse born, majestic Kansan progeny … It’s the last picture show, all the cowboys they get ready for a drawn out charismatic parody of what a country thought it used to be …”
Somewhere between the Raid on Harper’s Ferry and a quiet riot in Thunder Alley, unraveling caucus tapestries of Americana mythology by way of character vignettes and under-rug-swept exposés, Priests unfurls the sails of Encyclopedia Titanica. Coasting along radio waves and traversing analogue transits, echoes of Chaucer’s Canterbury chronicles and the revenant of Captain John Brown’s Kansas crusade converge within a Heartland’s audiobiography of Kansabury Tales … it’s The Seduction of Kansas.
A Jaguar’s six-string static lightning pierces the narrative into play, casting our first character onto the soundstage … electroshock genesis mellows into a steady cardiac bassline, and so we meet “Jesus’ Son:”
God came to me in a dream and told me that I’m Jesus’ son
I know this world is mean it’s lucky I’m the chosen one
I walked on eggshells backwards this secret on my face
But now the earth calls me I’m feral I’m a smoking gun
He feels like the lyrical offspring of Blind Melon’s pusher prophet, somewhere lingering in the genetic lineage of Everlast’s post-Eden duality: the rural re-up. Sowing seeds of mustard gas across the prairies of Tornado Alley, so our post-punk acolytes assemble their amplified altar, serving nouveaustalgia scene in an age of apparent great apostasy.
Crimson currents siphon through ciphers of a buy-one-get-one free marketplace on the eponymous second track, establishing the General Population’s prologue and leitmotif scaffolding: the senator, news anchor, Superman, and Dorothy, all of the Sunday dress mothers, White Castle, Pizza Hut, the Koch brothers — even Applebee’s. Totem polls check the cultural pulse as Katie Alice Greer rattles off American idols like a snake charmer luring straw men from a Stetson.
Suburbia submerges in surf rocked social distortion, while dust-laced diatribes bowl through valleys of rag dolls and puppet master parables … sonically speaking.
There’s no exit as we delve into “Youtube Sartre.” This one, feels like … Socratic Siren methodology wrapped in reverse psychology — but make it usurpation of Spectacle society.
A little Youtube sartre says / There’s no way to overthrow the bourgeoisie
Except tossing a hand grenade / into your society
Don’t believe, don’t believe / Don’t believe yourself to be
A virtuous thief / Or virtuous about anything
Baby boomer please don’t play / Personal freedom’s always been ugly
Sometimes I miss those childish insecurities / My shallow feelings of superiority
We’re hell and the handbasket, aren’t we?
This, resonates like one of those: “People take Pop Culture too seriously, and not seriously enough,” moments … a metronomic note in the suggestion box reminding that, although you just have to burn down your house to feel alive sometimes, this immediate culture and context might not be one of said times — you don’t always have to kamikaze your own classroom to ignite the class coup … or, rather, better elaborated: