Libra Soul: The Singing Voice Of The 99 Percent
Around this time last year, Rocks Off told you about a man named Aiton Etxea and his quest to find "reason-filled musicians" for the purposes of forming a band. His use of the term "reason-filled" caught our attention because we were regular trollers of Craiglist at the time, and it seems that every other ad in the musicians section was someone trying to find "faith-filled" musicians for church bands.
Photos courtesy of Aiton Extea/Libra Soul
Etxea made it pretty clear what he thought about religion when we interviewed him. Still, we enjoyed the conversation and asked him to look us up again if his project ever got off the ground. Well last week we heard from him, and the band's name is Libra Soul. They'll be playing this weekend and have an album out called Train for War.
Usually, Rocks Off doesn't like activist music. When Alice Cooper said that rock and politics should stay separate we believed him, and we guess we still do. Even something like Rage Against the Machine seems very dated now.
However, we aren't the same kid who was looking down our nose at the third Caranberries album because of "Free to Decide." Now we're working 13 hours a day, every day, living hand to mouth with a toddler and a wife in school. Now we're really fucking angry at the world, and Libra Soul calls to that part of us.
Look, we're not going to lie to you. Etxea isn't doing anything NIN, Ministry, or Rage didn't already do better. There are some flaws in the songs' writing and production that when can't ignore. Having said that, Etxea has taken a very bold approach to what he's trying to do. He bills the bands as progressive rock, which we'll defer to since it's his band and he can call it what he damn well pleases.
We will say, however that we'd have called the band more experimental than progressive. Though they initially start out as semi-metal, the songs on Train for War vary wildly in their genres. Here you'll find a Tool-esque track, there you'll be thrown into something more samples, and over there in the corner some indie kid is strumming his guitar.
Most of this is irrelevant, though. The music is as harsh and abrasive as the message. Please be prepared to have the word fuck thrown at your god and your establishments. Be advised that Libra Soul is a band that was formed around a basic principle, that much of what is going on in the world both in the sphere of religion and in the bastions of commerce is so flawed that they must be sung down.
The music? The music's fine, as far as words, rhythms and melodies go. If you want to rock the Libra Soul will oblige. But what makes Train for War something that we can't turn off is that it's a collection of anthems for people who didn't realize they were a nation... and who cares whether or not an anthem is technically good music?
Libra Soul is the fife and the drum in the battle an increasing number of us are fighting every day. We sat down with Etxea to talk about Train for War. Continue to page 2 for the interview.