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Living Things Come Alive With New Record
Habeas Corpus (Zomba Recordings)
By Hunter Embry
Calling all hipsters, rock n' rollers and deep thinking political junkies: Living Things and its latest release, Habeas Corpus, has the heart of Dylan and the attitude of the Stooges, but they sound like neither.
In a politically spirited but economically trying time, the educated, but confused youth need a soundtrack. With a classic, rock-based format, Living Things redefine fuzz guitars and punk beats, while encouraging action amongst the idealists through philosophically, and often politically, charged lyrics - and their American.
Tracks like "Snake Oil Man" pin a theme of resentment over a gang of nerved, bluesy guitars and focus demanding drums.
"That snake oil man, he's dammed the peace from our land/and he's going out softly with our blood on his hands," singer Lillian Berlin shimmies out in perfect pronunciation, "Everybody, let's keep the peace."
Berlin stays no less ironically optimistic with the forward thinking, "Dirty Bombs."
"Obama have you heard the news/I've lost my red, white and blues," Berlin sings in a country, delta blues fashion, "I sang those words you spoke and now the people want me stoned."
Berlin continues to plead with his audience, singing, "We can work it out without these dirty bombs."
The album doesn't climax sonically until "Shake Your Shimmy," when a note-bending acoustic riff gets caught in a dark hurricane of bottleneck sliding lead and waist-twisting drums, supported by a tambourine and sexy vocal melody.
With what has been described as a properly put-together Chicago blues song, St. Louis-based Living Things experiments with a psychedelic guitar delay, a Bonham-esque kick and super-fuzzed bass line.
Berlin returns with lyrics that attack male chauvinism in our society by means of the story of Adam and Eve – it's strange in a strange way.
With a swarm of infectious new-rock bands warrior-ing the large club circuit here in the states and abroad, Living Things is the real deal because it has ideas – it's alive.
Find out more at www.livingthingsmusic.com.