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vs. us Chapters I-III [Love songs for war]
Length: 11 tracks, 76 minutes
The Psalters are on the road full time now, and their latest project, __us vs. us Chapters I-III [Love songs for war]__, could be titled, "Meet the Psalters," as it is in large part a re-packaging of tunes from earlier independent releases intended for sale on their now-constant journey. It is a decent introduction to this radical community. ("All systems, all governments, even in their best efforts and intentions still end in the worship of self. Let us unite under the banner of Christ and no other.") What honest Christian can argue with that credo. The challenge of Psalters is living this radical stand.
Their music could best be categorized as home-made, self-taught world music. Past records have focused on Israeli idioms, but with the addition of new members the world view of these hirsute suburbanites is spiraling outward to encompass much of the Middle East Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and even U.S. spirituals into a challenging melting pot mix. No recording can do justice to the live Psalters experience, although the live tracks on this project give enough of a taste of a Psalter visit that it may convince many youth pastor to let the black bus park outside his or her church for a few days to afflict the comfortable. They will not be disappointed.
Unfortunately, even though the re-releases are remastered, they still suffer from some of the same poor mixes as the originals, especially the drums that just aren't as crisp as they should be. But, such an ideologically-driven group probably isn't overly concerned with slick production.
This project, intended to stretch the assumptions of listeners beyond the breaking point, is by a group that is standing ready to help with the rebuilding.
Linda LaFianza and Anthony LaFianza 12/9/2004