As I did with Macklemore earlier this month, I am going to recycle one of my top 12 from last year’s end of the year list.
I have listened to this album near to the point of nausea already. I will only add that the wild west showdown in “First” is an album’s highlight, second only to the Chaplin speech at the end of “Cheek.”
From my end of 2012 list:
One Wing is the definitive Chariot record for a variety of reasons, not limited to title brevity. But, yanno, it must be tough to write a set list with song names like “in,” “and,” and “Not.”
As I wrote previously about the Tooth & Nail/Solid State band roster of old, I’ve been thinking about how heavy music has morphed.
Bands like Loma Prieta and Metz are just this calendar year proving that experimental noise rock or math rock, whatever you want to call it, is capable of exploring new territory. It’s not enough anymore to just put out a banger of a record with sub drops and whatnot.
I feel like The Chariot have never stuck to their guns in this way. Even amidst all the spastic energy of their live show, there is substance to their material. “Your” reprises the role of delicate female voices exhibited on “Then Came to Kill” from The Fiancee (Hayley Williams from Paramore) and “David De La Hoz” from Long Live (Timbre Cierpke).
“Speak” is piano-driven (!) and layered by Josh Scogin’s shrill scream. “and” brings back the old-timey, throwback sample drops (“Calvin Makenzie” from Long Live, “Giveth” from Wars and Rumors of Wars).
But the most innovative Chariot track to date (that is to say, not featuring a choir) is “Cheek.” which samples at length the entirety of Charlie Chaplin’s speech from “The Great Dictator.”
Here’s the transcript of that speech:
I’m sorry but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone.
I should like to help everyone if possible: Jew, gentile, black man, white.
We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that.
We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery.
We don’t want to hate and despise one another.
In this world there’s room for everyone and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone.
The way of life can be free and beautiful but we have lost the way.
Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.
We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in.
Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want.
Our knowledge has made us cynical, our cleverness, hard and unkind.
We think too much and feel too little.
More than machinery we need humanity.
More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness.
Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.
The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together.
The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in man, cries out for universal brotherhood, for the unity of us all.
Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.
To those who can hear me I say, “Do not despair.”
The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress.
The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people.
And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.
Soldiers, don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you, who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think, and what to feel, who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder.
Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men, machine men with machine minds and machine hearts.
You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men!
You have the love of humanity in your hearts.
You don’t hate. Only the unloved hate, the unloved and the unnatural.
Soldiers, don’t fight for slavery, fight for liberty!
In the 17th chapter of St. Luke it is written, “The Kingdom of God is within man. Not one man, nor a group of men, but in all men. In you!”
You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness.
You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.
Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power.
Let us all unite! Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security.
By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power.
But they lie! They do not fulfill that promise. They never will!
Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people.
Now let us fight to fulfill that promise!
Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance.
Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness.
Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!
Upon hearing the song for the first time, I was nearly moved to tears. I hadn’t seen “The Great Dictator” before, so the speech was new to me. It is still so relevant even 72 years after the movie was released.
How long can they keep up that live show though?
On a scale from changing your band name away from a popular Atlantan rapper to hanging upside down from the rafters of music venues worldwide, I give The Chariot’s One Wing is a solid “Great Dictator.”
Standout tracks: “Forget” and “Cheek.”
Weakest Track: Wasn’t so keen on “Speak”
RIYL: Chaos, hardcore. Norma Jean, August Burns Red, Every Time I Die, Converge.