michael gallucci

REVIEW — LIVING THINGS: HABEAS CORPUS

In Uncategorized on 02/10/2009 at 3:26 am

Living Things

Habeas Corpus

(Jive)


The Living Things’ Lillian Berlin is a guy who gets worked up easily. His band’s 2005 debut, Ahead of the Lions, was one long anti-Bush screed. The follow-up, Habeas Corpus, took almost a year to record in Berlin (the German city), where Berlin (the singer and guitarist) engaged in numerous fisticuffs with his bandmates, two of whom he’s related to. And even though someone else is living in the White House these days, he’s still mighty pissed, mostly at the American Dream and its hollow promises. “I want the good life/I want a piece of paradise/I want to live the lie,” he sings on “Mercedes Marxist.” And on the slinky “Snake Oil Man,” he sounds like the world’s funkiest economic alarmist: “Our wages will dwindle/While our taxes will double/God only knows what will happen tomorrow.” But the St. Louis quartet kicks up quite a racket on Habeas Corpus, incorporating garage-band fuzz-rock, synth-squealing noise blasts and U2-sized rafter-shakers into its 21st century punk. “Take to the streets and run with me,” Berlin sings on album opener “Brass Knuckles.” It’s as much a call to arms as it is a celebration of all living things. — Michael Gallucci

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