Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Vortis

Take the System Down
Thick

If I've got this right at all, Mike Weinstein (FT, he calls himself here) is a philosophy professor from Perdue university who spends his spare time being an upstart, a campus agitator in the frizzy Abby Hoffman tradition. Vortis, so named in homage to some obscure, Ezra Pound-led art movement in the early 20th century, is his back-up band, comprised of younger, though no less Yippified, educators and intellectuals. Together they mix up clanging indie-rock and old-school punk with FT's "Revolution Now" ranting on "Take the System Down", which sounds like a particularly profane Dead Kennedy's album, minus the thrash but with many, many bathtub chemicals tossed in. There is no charm to FT's voice- he sounds like an angry, drunken biker- so the band does a lot for smoothing out his barks of protest. What's he so mad about? You know, WTO, the Middle East, racial tension, the Unabomber, that kind of thing. Is he insane? Probably pretty close. At the very least, he's really fucking with is tenure on these tracks. Fans of Copernicus, John Giorno, Brother Theodore, and other intellectual nuts with microphones and an affection for Sonic Youth will love this. Me, I'm from Cambridge, baby. I've got guys like FT breaking it down for me on every subway ride.

-Sleaze

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