Matador • 2023

»Shook«, the fourth album from the band from New York via Atlanta, has become a real monster, as the press release clearly indicates. More than a dozen guest singers were invited to the studio by Algiers: everyone from Samuel T. Herring (Future Islands) and Jae Matthews (Boy Harsher) to Billy Woods, Big Rube and Zack De La Rocha from Rage Against The Machine. After temporarily returning to their hometown of Atlanta and a subsequent burnout, the band-mates and friends reconnected through old-school hip-hop. Hip-hop is also the decisive new source for inspiration on »Shook«, both for the sound and form of their still very political statements. In addition to proto to post-punk, activist gospel and raw soul vocals, a lot of rapping can also be heard on the 17 songs: about the ills of the world, of course, again, which – whether exhorting about racism, capitalism or the impending apocalypse – unfortunately have not exactly changed for the better since their last album »There Is No Year« in 2020. While Algiers already experienced a few problems with coherence and stringency on their previous albums, this becomes even more obvious as a shortcoming with the many guest contributions on »Shook«. It seems as if the trio simply cannot control the monster of an album they have unleashed. The individual songs are captivating and stirring, but as a whole – not least because of the lack of breathers – it’s easy to be overwhelmed by this beast that has become music.