Rock operas are the new black, but taking something as serious and existential as the poisoning of thousands of Americans, most of whom are poor and therefore less able to take action themselves, is creative and powerful and a meaningful use of talent.
This is an unabashed protest album. The songs center on a group of characters struggling through the water crises in Flint with echos of Neil Young and Pink Floyd. These songs are strong, simple arrangements, using guitars and keys and the power of voice in its purest form.
It feels like a live recording, it has that kind of freshness and honesty. In some places they leave the glorious quirks and mistakes that always occur, turning them into magical moments connecting the audience to the artists. It’s an ode to the great American song book, ironically enough given the duality of our history, not to mention our present. It celebrates while it admonishes, the perfect recipe for great protest through music.
Three years in the making, this deeply poignant concept album clearly comes directly from the heart and the crafting of the album is so precise and heartbreakingly, Specificly, it’s hard to imagine that this won’t find its way to the stage at some point. Nate Cherrier and Ryan Summers are bold songwriters who took their immense skills and put them to thoughtful and ambitious use.
Music has a power to inform, to unite, to shock us and to reach us. Good music artfully made and purposefully focused can change minds and sometimes even the world. This interesting and compelling album is a cry for justice in a country where so many are needed on so many days.
Band members: Nate Cherrier, Ryan Summers
Location: Chippewa Falls, WI