Fully three years since 'the Anti-Imperial Cabaret,' the Consumer Goods are proud to present their fourth record, ‘But We Don't Shoot Pistols?,’ produced by Dale Morningstar (Godspeedyou!blackemperor, Rock Plaza Central) and featuring current and former members of Wilco, Blue Rodeo, Gord Downie and the Country of Miracles and the Rheostatics.
A new lineup, a new city, and no more irony. Now permanently based in Toronto, where the band was among the thousands of people who faced police violence during demonstrations against the G20 Summit, the new record represents a thoughtful and accomplished step from previous efforts.
At the centre of this record is an exploration of violence and displacement. ‘But We Don't Shoot Pistols?’ shifts between different voices, different places, different moments in the struggle against injustice - vague platitudes, perhaps, at first blush. But finding yourself engaged, you quickly realise the importance of knowing how you got there. You feel compelled to read Karl Marx, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Frantz Fanon, Eduardo Galeano, Samir Amin.
The music, influenced by the buzzing, brooding warmth of bands like Sun Kil Moon, Magnolia Electric Co., and Neil Young, is textured and moving but simultaneously harsh and unforgiving, intended to mirror the cycles of struggle and repression it depicts. It regularly fucks with narrative convention, jumping between different voices and moments, in order to convey something of the collapsing of multiple struggles into one. Do racist immigration laws in Arizona find an echo in Canadian border guard TV-dramas? Is there something shared between facing up to a tank in Tegucigalpa and a row of riot cops in Vancouver? Do these differences impede our ability to build a collective response? Is the response to colonizers, to compradors, to capitalists so different across time and space?
Well, yes, of course it is. So never mind all this collapsing into universals. There are particulars. Particular moments where one chooses to flee from violence or respond with violence in kind. Particular moments where one breaks relations with a loved one over clashing responses to injustice. Particular moments where people come together in acts of courage that defy even the most imaginative social scientists. Particular stories, of which this record attempts to respectfully navigate, that undeniably make up a collective struggle. This record is inspired by and part of that struggle.
released September 22, 2011
songs by tyler shipley.
the consumer goods:
recorded and mixed by dale morningstar at the gas station recording camp.
mastered by harris newman at greymarket mastering.
artwork by michael kirkpatrick.