The Almighty Terribles: WE’RE NOT THE ONLY ONES
Terrible Name–Awesome Band
By Jason E.R. Hedrington
The Almighty Terribles were obviously infused with a sense of humor, irony or self-depreciation to pin such a label on themselves, for this guitar power trio and their activist Truth Movement messages are anything but terrible.
Their live shows are the aural assault of madmen on a righteous mission–a mix of guitarist and brainchild (songwriter, producer, album artwork) Dave Cahill’s metal showmanship and Adrian Belew-esque squeals fueled by the airtight bashing polyrhythm drum work of Ryan Decker (who often delivers as a Neil Peart disciple) and bassist Nathan Powell who stands rock solid as The Terrible’s own John Entwistle feeding the melody and foundation beneath the cozmik chaos.
Dave handed me WE’RE NOT THE ONLY ONES at a recent show. My curiosity to see if their live fireworks could transfer to the studio was multiplied after gazing at the dark CD layout with its mix of brain, nebula, fractal geometry and TV-digitization images taking eyeball and human form. That curiosity was multiplied ever further by the fact that the Terribles had recorded, mixed and mastered the album in NYC–a move that proves not just seriousness and dedication of craft but a willingness to load their political messages into their rebel ship and fly directly into the heart of the Death Star to produce their product.
My curiosity was soon quenched with the noise-guitar loops and Punk-meets-Prog drive of opening track “Algorithm.” And with more brainiac titles like “Methodology,” “Optical” and “Immunity,” The Terribles have higher-mindedness at work here. Especially when track 3, “Blood for Fuel,“ begins with a FEMA camp soundbite and a dedication to “all our We Are Change brothers and sisters around the world.” When Cahill sings “soldiers lay down your arms and open your minds…your blood is the fuel–the war machine can’t run without you” and then turns to us to warn of the TV “they call it programming for a reason,” he is sounding the cavalry call–wake up! Rebel Rock is here to save you from The Matrix.
The album trades extended live jams for blistering power bites of knowledge. The experimental guitar solos are still here but come in rapid-fire mode, for the mission is more THE MESSAGE instead of the music.
But that’s not to say the high-musicianship doesn’t shine through. It’s just finely crafted to put the priority in the proper place: educate the public to various atrocities of our leaders and lead the charge in turning this ship of fools around.
Plus, in tunes like “Escape,” The Terribles still know how to bring the fist-pumping groove rock. They are also not beyond pausing for some love within the troubles of the world in the beautifully crafted “Medicine” which showcases Cahill’s many guitar talents: sweeping acoustic finger picking, tight riffing and melodic noise. Fast forward to “Loaded Gun” and feast your ears on a cornucopia musical mash-up.
With a short total running time (the 13 tracks average a radio-ready 3.5 minutes each) and seamless genre-jumping like Clash-worthy ska elements in “Something Ain’t right” and the power poppy “Tongue tied” which sounds like The Smithereens meeting System of a Down, WE’RE NOT THE ONLY ONES is easy to get through despite its heavy music and heavy messages–including the title track tackling the UFO phenomenon.
The Terribles bring the noise this weekend at the truth and freedom festival FREEDOMPALOOZA (check it and other activist acts out at www.freedompalooza.com), and the album, lyrics and song previews are available at www.thealmightyterribles.com which states they are already working on the next album. So now’s the time to catch this “Post-Apocalyptic Progressive Rock” band hitting its stride.