Algiers has released a video for “Cleveland,” a standout cut from their heralded Underside of Power album. Gospel and punk may sound antithetical, but the four piece mashed those elements together along with soul and hip-hop to put together an impressive sound that harkens to the continued social, political, and spiritual vitality of Black music. Such is the case with “Cleveland,” a powerful work of protest punk affirming Black life and rebelling against the system.
Given their gospel influence, it’s not be as easy for them to venture into the rawer waters acts like YG could venture into, but they still manage to fully channel the pain and confusion existing within all of us. Lead vocalist James Fisher’s thunderous chorus tears through the ambient and hip-hop-influenced drums and jumps into your soul, treating the spirit of Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Kindra Chapman and others with the reverence they deserved.
The video, co-directed by Fisher, Marisa Gesualdi and Sam Campbell, sees the band in East New York, here Akai Gurley was killed, and in Staten Island, where one of the most infamous instances of police brutality happened to Eric Garner. “Cleveland,” as well as the rest of Underside of Power, is an incisive examination of Western hegemony transposed through an enterprising sonic bed. You can purchase the album at all digital retailers, including iTunes.