The Last Internationale’s We Will Reign Could Spark a Revolution
By Alyce Hayes
There comes a time in most of our lives when we encounter a song, artist or band that resonates louder and more profoundly than anything else we’ve ever heard. The Last Internationale will be ~ and in fact already are ~ filling that role for many ~ whether through their live shows or their recordings or, ideally, both ~ for a good long time to come. The new trio ~ Delila Paz on vocals, guitar and bass, Edgey Pires on guitar, and Brad Wilk (formerly of Rage Against the Machine) on drums ~ released We Will Reign, their debut album, in August, and it packs incredible power and brilliantly expresses themes that have plagued the minds of “thinking listeners” since before music was an outlet for sharing them.
As someone who grew up on socially conscious and outspoken bands like Rage Against the Machine, Rise Against and Bad Religion, I wasn’t sure what to expect after reading TLI bio. I was so used to the subject of political injustice going hand-in-hand with musical aggression (a partnership that, don’t get me wrong, remains a cherished portion of my music collection) that part of me was expecting more of the same. But from the beginning of the first chord of the first track, “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Indian Blood,” I was completely disarmed by the catchy rhythms and Delila’s explosive but simultaneously milky vocals. The music is inviting, integrating post-grunge with the dynamism of the anti-war songs of the 60s and 70s, a little Motown, and of course, a hefty dose of driven alternative rock. The Last Internationale have given us a refreshing departure from the speed of angry punk and the questionable but all-too-frequently used method of screaming lyrics over good music; We Will Reign is a reminder that there’s more than one way to be heard ~ and also more than one way to say what’s on your mind.
The band gracefully avoided creating a soapbox upon which they could stand and attract the “angry under 40” set; instead, they wove together a masterpiece of laments, expressions of love, and empowerment. Although Delila speaks of the cruel pursuit of those in power in the title track, she speaks of love in the cover “Baby It’s You” and the wonderful potential in standing your ground in both “Battleground RMX” and “1968” (the last two are easily my favorite tracks on the album). She has the capacity to combine the fervor of Janis Joplin and the eerie calm of Pete Seeger, a gift not bestowed upon very many singers, if any.
The Last Internationale has come along at the perfect time, almost as if answering a silent prayer from those of us who truly yearn for exceptional music. Their voice becomes more relevant with each passing day as the issues of personal liberties and the true intention of politicians are being questioned on every level the world over ~ and the answers are not necessarily reassuring. As they say, the Revolution starts with the individual, and thanks to The Last Internationale’s ability to convey the human condition with beauty and devastating honesty both sonically and lyrically, they’ll have us all nodding our heads along to their music, singing their words, and ~ before we even realize it ~ thinking seriously about our own future and that of humanity as a whole. When (not “When and if,” but “when”) you listen to We Will Reign, don’t just expect a tug at your social consciousness, expect your heart (and feet ~ because as superb as this album is in terms of its emotional and intellectual perspectives, it is also a downright awesome, rockin’ collection of killer tunes!) to be moved.
We Will Reign Track Listing
- Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Indian Blood
- We Will Reign
- Killing Fields
- Wanted Man
- Baby It’s You
- Devil’s Dust
- I’ll Be Alright
Edited by L. Dean
Very special thanks to Peter Quinn