Monday, May 18, 2009

Week 51: "Don't Call It A Ghetto" by The Architects

Last July I saw The Architects play a show here in Kansas City where they opened for Murphy’s Law and Rancid. A music reviewer in town described the show best when he wrote, “Starting a three-hour show with a band like The Architects is like starting a hockey game with a bench-clearing brawl.” This quote pretty much sums up the band. So do the T-Shirts the band sold at their merch table. The T-shirts didn’t feature the band name. They were plain, black, and carried a very simple message across the front: “Stones > Beatles”.

The Architects merge punk, blues, and straight-up rock & roll and they play it without barring any holds or taking any prisoners. They are cocky and charismatic.

Way back in week 20 I wrote about another song by The Architects, a song called “Widow’s Walk.” Both that song and this week’s are off The Architects’ sophomore album, Revenge. Writing about that song, I identified it as falling within the punk genre of songs that speak about the importance of acting as sentinel or watch-dog.

“Don’t Call It A Ghetto” is The Architects’ feature-song in their live performances. The song is full of bravado and gets the crowd sweating. The song is also the band’s homage to their hometown of Kansas City, especially the area of the city known as Hyde Park which is located directly between the upscale locations of Crown Center and the Plaza.

The song is foul-mouthed and feisty, proud and defiant. At one point, singer Brandon Phillips spits out the best line of the song, “If dreams were like bombs, I’d be Hezbollah. And no, I’m not afraid of that metaphor.” You can’t just find punk-ridden angst like that anywhere.

You can check out the video of the song here. You can watch a video of them playing the song live here. You can also listen to their music on their myspace page.