Album Review :
Pilgrims - The Joy of Sales Resistance
Album: The Joy of Sales Resistance
Label: Quiver Society
Release Date: August 1, 2007
Review by: Eric Pettersson
1. Theme Song
2. My Love
3. Martin (Violence Oh Violence, I Don’t See You, You’re Not in My Backyard)
4. It’s Easy to Fear What’s Far Off and Ignore Injustice across the Street
5. We Have Forgotten How to Practice Love When We Don’t Feel It
After doing my typical background research for a review, I wished I had been around for (or paid more attention to) the early days of Solid State. Back when things weren’t so big, there was a band by the name of Warlord. This band, led by Brian Flechtner, played extreme and experimental hardcore (please don’t attack my genres… I knew one song from them), and sadly disappeared after only one album, released in 1997. Since then, Brain’s been a busy guy. Aside from starting a family, he’s also started Quiver Society. This is not so much a record label as it is, from my understanding, an artist co-op, and most of these artists loosely fit somewhere in the lines of anti-establishment folk rock with quirky indie tendencies. Not exactly the place you’d expect a former hardcore vocalist, but wait, there’s more. He also became the first artist at Quiver Society, naming his new project Pilgrims. On myspace, he lists his genres as “minimalist/ ambient/ experimental” and his tagline is “post-classical or pre-rock.” After a couple of records, including a more recent one called Remember the Poor (if you look it up, some of you might recognize the design as that used by The Love Alliance), Pilgrims has released The Joy of Sales Resistance, a record that is quite quite confusing.
These five tracks combine to create 26 minutes of seemingly-unguided and undeveloped instrumentals. If rock music were a world super power, rivaling the feared foreign country of rap music, Pilgrims would be a lone prophetic voice with what would appear to be no voice at all. There are electric guitars, undistorted and slowly picked and strummed in a way that might make hit producers cringe. Hums of all sorts pervade the backgrounds, and the only vocals on the album belong to Martin Luther King Jr. “Martin (Violence Oh Violence, I Don’t See You, You’re Not in My Backyard),” is eleven minutes long and borrows pieces of King speaking on the issues of poverty, globalization, capitalism, and injustice, all overtop an ominous drone. A few electronic bleeps and bops make guest appearances here and there, and the ethereal feel is about the only consistency from song to song, if you can really even call them songs rather than explorations.
This is thinking music. With this relaxed tone set in the background, the listener becomes free to pray, think about church and politics, do homework, or reminisce on family, the book he or she just read, or the homeless person he or she just passed by on the street without even a glance. All that being said, most people will not appreciate this record. It took me a few spins to appreciate, and appreciate is different than like. But I respect what is being done here, and I have grown to like some of it, especially the bits from Dr. King. I’m sure it will click very strongly with some, but I’m also sure they won’t be those who also like pop music.