I’ve always been a bit perplexed when it came to the pro-life movement. Growing up in the Midwest(aka, the Corn Belt) I’ve had a firsthand view of its insidious sincerity. Sure, saving the unborn children; making human walls of screaming, shrieking Christians in front of Planned Parenthoods, medical clinics, and OBGYNs calling cowering, scared women murderers while holding pictures of fetuses attached to a 2×4.
Makes perfect sense.
Yet, these are the same people that back foreign wars against non-white nations that are predominantly non-Christian. They also support the right to carry guns pretty much anywhere one damn well pleases and are against any sort of gun reform even after a school full of children are shot up.
Electronic musican Tom Hall, aka Sermons By The Devil, has a similar view when it comes to the pro-life movement. His new album, aptly-titled Pro Life, is a condemnation on the hypocrisy and two-faced nature of Far Right politics and its alignment with the Far Right Christian ideologies in which the pro-life movement has been founded in. Especially since Roe V Wade gave birth to red-faced mobs of gob-smacked Sunday School teachers and snake-oil salesmen in their sunday best.
It’s also a dark, sleek, and rhythm-heavy album of sonic significance.
Just because this record is heavy concept-wise doesn’t mean it lacks sonically. This album is all late night vibes, sleek rhythms, and heady synths. Hall as Sermons By The Devil has always concentrated on mood and melody in his electronic works. He’s also an analog die-hard, building records with circuital bliss via tubes, solder, wires, and modular language. Pro-Life is no different, but this time around there’s more emphasis on trance-like repetition which comes from an almost hip hop approach to beat building. It allows room to roam the landscape Hall has created and just sift through the ruins we call society.
The songs on Pro-Life just kind of hang in the air, filling the room with a haze. “Active Shooter” is heavy on dark vibes and ominous tones, the synths sometimes wavering in a gurgle of sub-level octaves. “Political Echo Chamber” steadies on a tribal rhythm and John Carpenter mood. The touches are subtle, but there’s an almost psychedelic nature to the production here, delays and echo not prominent but apparent when lost in the tune with a good pair of headphones on. There’s also the spirit of dub music here; experimenting and twisting beats and synths into something else.
“Low To The Ground” has a New York street sound to it. You can almost envision some burnt-out cityscape blurring by a subway car window as this hypnotic track plays on. “Trigger Warning” has a jungle beat and percolating electronics throughout. “Suicide Shift” bounces with bass-heavy low end and trippy electronics, painting late night walks in humid paranoia. There’s also plenty of ambient mood pieces, like the lush and subtle “Dying In A Rented Bed” and “Liquified Remains”.
Pro-Life sits in the same rarified air as albums like Mr. Eff’s Eyes Down, Pentagram Home Video’s The Satanic Path, and Pye Corner Audio’s Sleep Games. These are albums that lock into grooves and subtle motifs and put you into their worlds without having to overload the senses. These albums don’t try too hard. There’s no explanation needed or a some narrative required. They’re already painted perfectly, we merely need to walk into them and experience them.
Sermons By The Devil’s Pro-Life was born out of frustration regarding a very serious, dark place in our reality. One born from the kind of hypocrisy that shouldn’t be looked at lightly. But just as a listening experience it’s an engaging, hypnotic and dark electronic album that is a must listen.
2 thoughts on “Sermons By The Devil : Pro-Life”
The pro-life movement has little to do with saving babies and more to do about keeping the poor tied to finical burdens, IMHO. Walmart and Mcdonald’s need people desperate enough to work for their slave wages. This music is kind of like a soundtrack to an ’80s film. I kind of like it.
LikeLiked by 1 person
You are 💯 correct in that assessment. Well, all of your assessments.
I’ve seen the hypocrisy of it firsthand with people I know and used to be somewhat close to in childhood. Thought it was BS then, and think so now.
LikeLiked by 1 person