In Rotation: The Kreutzer Sonata - Austere

Phil Collins - February 24, 2015


I consider myself a proponent of the album. The album both as a tangible, physical package and as a cohesive piece of music. The larger cultural shift toward buying songs individually makes me uncomfortable. The listener is missing something if he is only ingesting one or two songs that are part of a whole. They don't say it explicitly but I think there is enough in The Kreutzer Sonata's new album, Austere, to suggest that the band feels the same way.

The album, the first full-length from the Chicago hardcore trio The Kreutzer Sonata, demands to be listened to from front to back. Songs roll right into each other at a breakneck pace. The tracks on Austere flow like movements of one work. On the album's penultimate song, "Cringeworthy," the line "I hate my fucking generation" comes up again and again, repeated with force. I think this discussion of the proper way to listen to music falls into the realm of what the band is getting at with the line "So take your fist off your phone and raise it for a fight on society."

"P.W.M. (Punks with Morals)" calls out hypocrites who call themselves punks but reveal themselves as homophobic, out for themselves and unsupportive of what makes a scene actually work. It is a straight up hardcore song sure to rile up a crowd. The Kreutzer Sonata plays on a stacked bill at Disastr House in Rockford on March 14. Kicking Brickley, Old Wolves, Praise The Sinners, Krap Spackle, Rhetoric Vendetta, Step Right Up and Butchered play that show as well. Stream Austere below or head to The Kreutzer Sonata's bandcamp page for a pay-what-you-want download.