A pivotal aspect of Atlanta gospel-punks Algiers’ songwriting, and any good songwriting for that matter, is the intrinsic ability to express raw, unabashed emotions and take a bold, meaningful, and unwavering stance. Algiers, one of our 2015 Bands To Watch, just released The Underside Of Power, an album wrought with political commentary delivered in a way that truly escalates the group to new heights. In their new music video for “Cleveland” — a song about police killings in general and 12-year-old Cleveland resident Tamir Rice’s death in particular — fuzzed-out, choppy sequences of frontman Franklin James Fisher are shown between fullscreen displays of several parts of the Black Panthers’ Ten-Point Program. It includes points on education, (“We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present day society”) housing, (“We want decent housing, fit for shelter of human beings”) and an end to police brutality (“We want an immediate end to police brutality and murder of black people”).
Fisher self-directed the video alongside Marisa Gesualdi and Sam Campbell. A press release explains that it was filmed “between Staten Island and the Pink Houses project in East New York, where Eric Garner and Akai Gurley were killed at the hands of New York City Police Department.” The video is disorienting at times, mirroring the chaos of the state. The halfway point of “Cleveland” is dedicated to saying and remembering the names of other black victims of police violence. Watch below.
Here’s a photo from when Fisher met with Garner’s family:
The Underside Of Power is out now via Matador.