The Majestic Twelve “Schizophrenology” Review
Published in Blog, Culture Bully. Tags: Album Reviews, Music.
The Majestic Twelve are one of the only bands that will make you rethink the music you’re currently listen to and question why you’re not only not listening to more of the Majestic Twelve, but why you hadn’t listened to them sooner. (That is unless you have heard of the band, in that case the previous statement doesn’t apply to you.) Nonetheless, the band epitomizes, for me at least, the purest sense of the term indie rock ‘n roll. What is that, you might ask? Indie rock (in its purest form, mind you) is something that should be, by nature of the term, independently released, without any form of major distribution or promotion. (Duh.) The rest is all opinion, and as opinion has it, indie rock should be refreshing, and reflect the world around you, whatever world that may be. It should be free of many guiding restraints, musically or otherwise, and come out of nowhere, stabbing you with its majestic beauty. And without a doubt, the key to it is that it shouldn’t take itself too seriously. Schizophrenology helps even the most jaded of listener rediscover music through a seemingly effortless attack on modern rock intellect. How much more indie can you get?
Sorry about all that hipper-than-thou rhetoric, but it often seems like a band can’t fully be accepted unless it meets certain unspoken requirements within certain realms and segmented music communities. The point being, if there was ever a band that I can stand behind — without knowing its full history, but simply on its musical and lyrical merit alone — the Majestic Twelve is that band.
To say that the band’s music is overtly political at times is a slight understatement. “Condoleezza, Check My Posse” name checks friends and ideals from a (stereotypical) right wing conservative viewpoint before breaking down with an a cappella harmonization gracefully overlapping “Ann Coulter… Rush Limbaugh… Sean Hannity… Tucker Carlson… Paul Wolfowitz…” The song finds solace in the simplistics of an upbeat neo-art rock beat while carrying on, and uniquely identifies a way to build lyrical momentum without losing the listener.
The brilliance is that the band doesn’t stick to pointing fingers at any one side or belief, but rather, tries to understand both sides of an argument through “Thank God Everything on TV is a Lie.” “We’ve got to win the war on drugs for the sake of our society / Our future as a global force depends on our sobriety / Pornography corrupts us, it makes us less than pure / And if everyone found Jesus, all those fags would have a cure,” balances a later verse, “There’s no justice in America / Democracy’s a fraud / And you really must be stupid if you think that there’s a God / If you’re straight and white and male you are the lord of the dominion / You were born as an oppressor with no right to an opinion.” The band makes an actual point out of this confrontational lyrical quarrel, which sets it apart from any musical contemporaries, should they exist, “I’m inquisitive and questioning, I’m thinking and I’m free, I’m not one of you, or one of them, I’m one of me, I’m not in either party, Both sides are illegit, I’ve figured out that all of you are completely full of…”
Does the band stand on higher ground with ill contempt for those who disagree or see things differently? Not really. Just as a love song bases love from one’s given perspective on emotion, this album bases many thoughts from the perspective of a political minority, simply stating without blatantly negating other’s beliefs. There are love songs too, though, in case you were wondering.
“Cry” casts an explosive, manic spell in which its characters find themselves in such dire need for each other that they both leave, explaining real emotions and not simply superficial standards. “All the things that she said, I’m so stupid, she’s right, No, I’m right, she’s a bitch, no she’s not, no she isn’t, (I’m still here waiting for you), All the things that she said, I’m so stupid, I want her, I want to destroy her, He breaks down and cries.” The point is how they come to terms with all of this, knowing full well that there is a reciprocal emotion between them, without either being able to say a word.
What’s that, you say? Lyrics based on vibrant emotion colliding with music that truly graces a new age of rock doesn’t intrigue you? Well, the band is funny too — how about that? “Pandora’s Legacy. Marketed by The Majestic Twelve with the help of several trailer parks full of bottle throwing children,” reads the album notes. “Said children are a subsidiary of The Majestic Twelve Corporation.” See what I mean?
Back to that original statement, the band is indie, man… in its purest form. Still don’t believe me? Here’s what the group offers as limitation for sharing the album: “Feel free to burn, upload, iPod, broadcast, bit torrent, download, seed, KaZaa, post, blog, distribute, Limewire and/or pimp this disc.” So, really, there’s no reason not to introduce yourself to the band that you will be shocked to know that you didn’t already love: The Majestic Twelve.
[This post was first published by Culture Bully.]