Readjusting the Locks is the first album from Institute written across the country, half the band having left their native Texas for New York. Despite the distance it sounds every bit as cohesive as if they were all still hanging out every night in the same Austin dives. The newly NYC-based Moses Brown and Arak Avakian flew to Houston in October 2018, where they joined Barry Elkanick and Adam Cahoon to demo the entirety of the new album in a single day. In December, the band got back together in Brooklyn to record with their longtime producer Ben Greenberg (Uniform).
+ Indie edition on Bourbon coloured vinyl.
Previous Institute albums may have wandered into the experimental, Readjusting the Locks strives to be economical, with its 13 tracks clocking in at a tight 29 minutes. They has seamlessly incorporated more ’77 rock n’ roll into their sound, some songs feeling like they could have been a Stiff Records single. This sound is emphasised by Greenberg’s expert production — crisp but still blown out and dirty. Lyrically Readjusting the Locks moves away from the traditionally personal framed words of frontman Moses Brown. Rather than attacking the internal workings of his brain or its socialisation, as on previous records, this album attempts to address the societal atmosphere in which his agita exists.
Blaming Neoliberalism and the irresponsible notions of utopia fostered under it, Brown argues that in recent decades the Western world’s assumption that humanity would continue to prosper into the future has, on the contrary, created a disastrous political vacuum. This has allowed banks, corporations, and their politicians to aimlessly advance the Neoliberal agenda into an inconceivably dangerous place. He argues that we are deadlocked in a permanent existential crisis, stuck in an un-humanitarian and environmentally destructive system so all-consuming that we will not find a clear alternative. Without a true plan for a sustainable future those in power will continue to offer humanity new policies, technologies, and politicians that promise change but are only capable of “readjusting the locks” on our incomprehensible existential predicament.
1. M.P.S. (2:15)
2. Mon Cherie (1:53)
3. Let Me Be (2:02)
4. Indoctrination Set (1:45)
5. Roll Music (2:30)
6. Can’t See Nothin’ (1:14)
7. Shangri-La (2:56)
8. St John’s Wort (1:23)
9. Dazzle Paint (2:36)
10. Anxiety (1:53)
11. Utopia Sound (1:26)
12. Fooled Again (2:38)
13. Deadlock (4:28)
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