System Corporation is a wonderful rallying point for today’s music scene, both creatively and ethically. The latter comes to the fore in this song about low voter engagement around the globe, the irony that there is a slice of the population who sit back waiting for change to happen without realising that their apathy is the reason that change doesn’t come. As someone who grew up in the shadow of punk and all that it spawned, it seems to have been a long time since many bands carried a political message or had much to say about the world around them. Now, at a time when those influencers and torch bearers are needed most it would seem as if there is a growing number of grassroots agitators and street corner commentators breaking through the wall of pop conformity and rock cliche.
Musically they are a mercurial bunch too. A blend of droning, tribal rock and roll that takes in Doorsian psychedelia and 60’s garage band, The Dandy Warhol’s dark pop and tips a hat to The Brian Jonestown Massacres free-wheeling sonic journeys. It is sad, beautiful and capacious and speaks to the moment but does so in such an understated way that as a message it is more subversive than rallying. But we have tried rallying, no one listens, maybe the way to engage people is to do so in a way that they don’t realise that they are being education and informed, let them come to their own conclusions, feel that they have made the connection and they might just feel that they have empowered themselves to change.
But if they miss the message they are still being presented with a great song, one which updates the entrenched grooves of the likes of The Velvets or Joy Division for a whole new audience, the latter even more obvious in the more clinical Southern Tribe remix that comes as part of the package.