The Systems Are Down sounds like The Kominas just broke down and started up again. Their new album features clanging machinery that gets you into gear, and you slowly start remembering what the band is about, has always been about. This latest release brings together all the disparate elements that have gone into their elaborate sounds built through the years together with some new influences: the grimy guitars and the psychobilly riffs on the opening track are reminiscent of more recent Kominas releases, while the droney sounds add a definitive darker hue.
The stabby guitar sounds, with some noisy overlays on “Backstabber” echo the earliest Kominas sounds “There are some things beyond you/You’ve got to figure it out!” Reject is an up-tempo ballad for the downtrodden.
The closing track “No Fear” is the kicker, and The Kominas like to go out with a bang (or should I say bhang!). The track gives a heavy euphoric feel as the chorus and mystical vocal melodies are layered up over a dark brooding riff. “Refugees are welcome here …” The invocation of immigrants from war-torn countries with the inclusive and dark yet up-lifting aura of this song manages to somehow give hope to the hopeless. The sound of clanging guitars and thrashy drums with the Kafkesque [Khaak hojainge hum/tumko khabar hone tak] “We’re gonna kill the beast!” is bound to leave you disturbed and energized at the same time.