Algiers in London 2015 by Tom Medwell
|Origin||Atlanta, Georgia, United States|
|Genres||Post-punk, gospel, psychedelic soul, industrial, punk blues, experimental rock|
|Associated acts||Lyonnais, Liverhearts, Bloc Party|
Franklin James Fisher|
Algiers is an American experimental band from Atlanta, Georgia. The band is composed of vocalist/guitarist Franklin James Fisher, bassist Ryan Mahan, guitarist Lee Tesche and since 2016 drummer Matt Tong. Algiers pulls from a divergent number of musical (and nonmusical) influences; the most notable of which being post-punk, gospel music, Southern Gothic literature and the concept of the Other. Their sound has been described as "dystopian soul" due to its somber mood, afrofolk inspired vocal approach, and heavy emphasis on atonal textures.
Franklin, Ryan and Lee met and grew up playing music together in Atlanta, Georgia but was officially formed in London in 2007. They chose the name Algiers in reference to a key historical site of anti-colonial struggle, symbolizing a contested space where violence, racism, resistance, and religion commingle.
The group released their first single “Blood” in January 2012 via Atlanta based label Double Phantom. Byron Coley for The Wire wrote “Although the fusion may have been touched upon in recordings related to both The Birthday Party and The Gun Club, Algiers are dedicated to grafting gospel music onto post-punk guitar-cuzz...this record is mesmerising and really sucks you in with its weird power.”
The band's self-titled debut album was released through Matador on June 2, 2015. In 2015, ahead of their eponymous release, the band opened for Interpol, during their North American Tour. Matt Tong, formerly of Bloc Party, has been playing drums for Algiers since early 2015. Their live show has been described as "recalling at various points PIL’s dub-style expansions, Afrobeat, industrial, no wave, free jazz, Suicide, the XTC of “Travels in Nihilon,” Nick Cave’s fire and brimstone, and musique concrète."
- Franklin James Fisher - lead vocals, backing vocals, guitar, piano, rhodes, cello, drums, percussion, sampling
- Ryan Mahan - bass, synthesisers, piano, backing vocals, percussion, drum programming
- Lee Tesche - guitar, prepared instruments, percussion, loops, backing vocals
- Matt Tong - drums, percussion, backing vocals
EPs and Singles
- "Blood" / "Black Eunuch" (2012, Double Phantom Records)
- "Mute Studio Sessions" (2015, Matador)
- "Walk Like A Panther" (2017, Matador)
- "Blood" / "Black Eunuch" (2017, Geographic North)
- Jurek, Thom (August 4, 2017). "AllMusic Review". AllMusic. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
- DeMerritt, Paul (June 2, 2015). "Algiers revive protest music". Creative Loafing. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
- White, Caitlin (June 26, 2017). "Band To Watch: Algiers". Stereogum. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
- Turner, Luke (April 22, 2015). "Escape Velocity You Have To Fight For Change: Algiers Interviewed". The Quietus. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
- Hardmeyer, Casey (June 21, 2015). "Dystopian Soul". Willamette Week. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
- Hogan, Marc (June 4, 2015). "New Music to Know: Algiers Battle for Indie Rock's Soul". CBS Radio. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
- Coley, Byron. “Reviews”, The Wire (magazine), London, October 2012.
- Klein, David (June 9, 2015). "Live: Algiers win an uphill battle in Carrboro". Indy Week. Retrieved July 4, 2015.