No lie, this isn’t the first time I’ve come upon a Wino Wednesday and fired up the YuberToubs to look for The Hidden Hand‘s “Sons of Kings.” The song is my favorite from 2004′s Mother Teacher Destroyer and seems miles away stylistically from a lot of the post-Spirit Caravan trio’s other work, particularly the rawer, faster debut, Divine Propaganda, released just the year prior.
Looking at the record in hindsight, I have a hard time separating it from the political context surrounding. Songs like “Desensitized,” “Travesty as Usual” and “The Deprogramming of Tom Delay” are blatant social commentaries lyrically, but even “Magdalene,” which isn’t, has an air of sadness about it that seems weighted down by war and the hopelessness that seemed to pervade the American progressive thoughtscape around President Bush’s reelection. It was a fucked up time to be alive and aware of what was happening around you (though not nearly as bad for Americans as for the people we were bombing), and as much as Mother Teacher Destroyer worked in two threads and coated some of its themes in epic imagery, picture thinking of your country by the three descriptors in the title. It was kind of like that.
Maybe that made The Hidden Hand‘s sophomore outing unbalanced, but I don’t think so. Wino, bassist/vocalist Bruce Falkinburg and drummer Dave Hennessy hit on a musical flow that stayed consistent whoever was doing the writing and wherever the lyrics may have gone. It’s an underrated album in the Wino canon, and I was glad someone finally put it up for streaming so I could share it here.
Please enjoy, and happy Wino Wednesday:
Tags: Southern Lord, The Hidden Hand, Wino Wednesday