Listening Post

Die Symphony's new Codependence Day is quite a spectacle: swank packaging, an enhanced CD and megaproduction. They must have spent a goddamn fortune. The enhanced CD is particularly impressive: fancy photos of the four guys, concert footage, a minivideo replete with gushing fans. The music? I vote them the St. Louis band most likely to become Rock Stars: Think Stabbing Westward, Rammstein or Orgy. Their fans articulate this sentiment in the video footage: "That show kicked fuckin' ass!" says one; another echoes the sentiment: "It was awesome." Some dude with the word "Deye" painted on his forehead offers this insight: "Die Symphony is the best thing to happen to St. Louis music! They're the only band putting on a fucking rock show and not pussyfooting around!" The final praise most eloquently captures the essence of the band: "Whoooooooo!" I couldn't have said it better myself. (RR)

MP3 ALERT: "Here we go again, back to the roots, back to the roots." So begins Public Enemy's newest single, "Do You Wanna Go My Way?", the scariest song I've heard in some time. It's not Chuck D's message that frightens; it's the sound. The massively live drum attack; the seething and gorgeous wash of -- what are they? -- distorted synths or cavernously reverbed guitar licks; and the abrupt end-cut to a flash fade over some quiet, slinky soul guitar -- the whole effect is apocalyptic and serious as Mace -- not to mention manically catchy. PE's signature cutting self-reflection is here too -- "Take a nation of sell-outs to keep us back" -- but not as ego-fest. Chuck D's wit and voice devastate, and he makes our culture's (especially stagnant hip-hop; Def Jam and Puff Daddy are both cut) going to hell as palpable as a fever dream: "The lips foretold this apocalypse, everything that had a shot got hit with bullshit, twisted politics ... as one quits another nitwit hits, all the way crazy, shady, world turned upside down ... look around, surrounded by chalk marks on the ground." I'm no authority on rap, but "Do You Wanna Go My Way?" is heady stuff. You can download the free MP3 file at the music section of www.amazon.com (they'll even point you to an MP3 player, if you're without one), or wait for the official release in June. (RK)

Contributors: Roy Kasten, Lee Kelemen, Randall Roberts

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