By Anita Stewart, Rock At Night Pittsburgh
Album Review: Motihari Brigade’s Power From Below
Motihari Brigade‘s website says: “Rock and Roll Thoughtcrime:
“Motihari Brigade creates high-energy revolution rock as a beacon for those seeking their independent lost tribe” and “We can create our own rock-n-roll resistance.”
Well, I am all for that! This band puts out some incredible straight-up rock and roll and in parts, sounds almost ska-like, reggaeton and/or includes some reggae beats when their horn section is added in. These are songs with politically charged lyrics and every song knocks the listener over the head with a themed message.
Motihari Brigade Release will release this new album, “Power From Below” on January 28, 2020 through the “Creative Destruction” label. These songs definitely bring a new and fresh meaning to the term “protest music.” Unlike folk songs from the 50’s and 60’s, most of this album is crafted with hard hitting, rock and roll for a new era of revolutionaries. The band is serious about about their politics. A page on the band’s website is dedicated to the news sites that bring you real news. Click HERE to check it out. Their website also encourages their fans to “join the tribe.”
Three of the songs on the album are covers, two written by Pete Seeger and one by John Lennon. “Hold On (Eyes on the Prize)” was popular during the civil rights protest marches in the south, “Which Side Are You On” is a homage to striking workers. Lennon’s “Power to the People” is an anthem to revolutionaries everywhere.
The band’s name comes for Motihari, India, the birthplace of George Orwell, the author of the book and film adaptation of the futuristic Big Brother story of “1984.” Of course, this book is required reading for peace lovers, revolutionaries and truth tellers world wide! This book was written during WW2 and is still popular today. George Orwell is clearly the band’s inspiration. And we know why; in today’s world of “group-think” and “newspeak,” regular surveillance, brain washing, disinformation and fake news–we who read the book decades ago in school are seeing how science fiction has rapidly turned into the new normal of today.
Lending an element of mystery to the band and the original, well crafted songs, this writer could not find a band lineup published anywhere! We only have the name “Eric Winston.” Still searching! Honouring the activists from decades ago with the covers to providing their audience with very hip new protest songs, Rock at Night can’t wait to see what this band comes up with next!
The Songs from “Power from Below”
(For lyrics to all of the songs–click HERE)
Power from Below–title song with ska-like horns, cool vocals, very big “wall of sound.” The state of the world as we know it right now, what we buy, we go where we are led. A call to turn off the TV and media.
Talking to Crazy–dance-able rock tune with intro of cowbell, keys and riffing guitar. Lyrics insinuating the craziness we see everywhere on the planet right now.
Revolutionary Sweetheart–a Beatlesque sounding and very sweet rock love song dedicated to a Revolutionary girl with clever lyrics and flowing guitar breaks:
“You’re my radical raging demonstrating vegetarian red
You’re my mobilizing organizing comrade in the bed…”
The Invisible Hand–a jazzy and ska blend of genres, horns, drums and background vocals are center stage here. Sax and keys breaks. The lyrics are about passively accepting what is happening around you and the financial world. Sound of train at the end.
Hold On (Eyes on the Prize)–a cover song–this is an anthem written by Pete Seeger that was popular during the Civil Rights Movement in the 50’s and 60’s. Refreshed with lead guitar, background vocals and beautiful harmonies.
Power to the People–this song has already been released as a video. It is a cover of John Lennon’s song with a reggae beat and lively chorus and oh yes, it’s a sing-along! Be sure to play it LOUD!
The Leader–a Beatlesque song talking about the leaders of the world knowing the best for all of us. Great guitar work and drums.
Buy This Product–the homage to the zombie like marketing campaigns for sale items–the down side of consumerism. Very clever chanting style lyrics, vocals in monotone, mimicking the endless drone of talking heads on commercial TV and Radio.
Which Side Are You On–this is an old Pete Seeger song covered beautifully here, rocked up a bit with great guitar and background vocals. A tribute to the workers, the strikers and unions of the world.
The Flood–very folky, classic rock and retro sounding song and the background vocals and slide guitar are stellar here. Almost sounds like George Harrison (Beatles) on the slide. Are the lyrics perhaps noting the projected coastal flooding that will result from human–created climate change?
Waiting for the Revolution–another classic rock song, great guitar intro and lots of horns throughout. Lyrics about there being more of us (revolutionaries) than them. Sounds futuristic but this definitely an anthem for the present time.
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