First Tyranny Is Tyranny Single Released

10 Jun

“Manufacturing Truth” is the first song from the forthcoming Phratry Records release Let It Come From Whom It May, Fall 2013.

Recorded and mixed by Russell Hall and Jason Jensen at The Dock and House of Men, December 2012 – May 2013. Mastered by Martin Defatte at Guerrilla Digital, Milwaukee WI.

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Moving on

20 Nov

USoT is in the rear-view mirror and we’re month out from our last shows, but we’ve got a couple of things in the works…

Jason and Russell have started another band (as yet unnamed) with a our friend Jeff Samuels (ex-Hat Party) on drums. This time around Jason is playing baritone guitar through a bass amp and Russell is still torturing throat and abusing guitar. We’re writing songs now, but so far it appears as though it’s going to be more mathy and angular and Unwound-like. Much more akin to the first USoT record than the last. Yes, we plan on touring.

Jason and Russell continue to play guitar in Tyranny Is Tyranny. It’s more straight forward than USoT — more post-metal/post-rock, with a focus on repetition and dynamics. The songs are, admittedly, still filtered through AmRep noise though.

In addition, Russell keeps threatening to start a solo drone/doom project — just him and a laptop. His recent obsession with Nadja, Earth, and Mamiffer  should indicate the direction this thing will go.

Stay tuned. Thanks for all your support and enthusiasm.

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10 Oct

Two of our biggest supporters in Madison, Joel Shanahan and Scott Gordon, bid us a fond farewell on the October 1o installment their Madison Arts Extract podcast. They accurately describe Russell as grumpy and Bill as a brilliant bassist. We appreciate your continued support and enthusiasm. It was one reason we kept going…

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4 Oct

After much thought and many personal struggles, we have decided to put an end to USoT. It is with heavy hearts that we look towards the future without this important part of our lives. USoT was so much more than music and it will be nigh-impossible for us to replace this passion, activism, and community going forward. Thanks everyone.

We are playing two final show in the next few weeks:

  • Friday October 19 @ The Dragonfly in Madison with our good friends Knife The Symphony, Nonagon, and Dick The Bruiser.
  • Saturday October 20 @ Quenchers in Chicago with KtS and Nonagon again.

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Forces Of Production: Remix

17 Sep

At long last, Forces Of Production is available to the masses. We’ve been working on this for over a year, but we’ve been talking about doing something like this for even longer — since our first record came out in 2007. As fans of experimental, dub, and electronic music, we appreciate the recontextualization of art in our current cut-and-paste culture. Who’s to say that the only versions of our songs are the ones we’ve released?

So we imagined the individual tracks as raw material — merely starting points for new compositions. We enlisted friends and fans and assembled radically different versions of songs drawn from all of our records. Some of these songs are unmistakably United Sons of Toil songs; others bear little resemblance.

Download or purchase Forces Of Production at Bandcamp.

Like all our records, Forces Of Production is available for free download. In addition, the Super-Deluxe Limited-Edition CD Package includes an exclusive bonus 4-track disc, mini-poster, and over-the-top packaging including riveted asset tags, ribbon, and a custom wax seal. Limited to 100 copies.

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Blown-out Goodness

29 Aug

Five songs from our set at the Frequency on Saturday, August 25. Revel in the blown-out goodness.
  • Revolutionary Panic Attacks (part)
  • The Contrition of the Addict
  • Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
  • The Concept of the Urban Guerrilla
  • State-Sponsored Terrorism

Watch carefully as Russell wipes out half of Jason’s kit at 5:55.

Thanks to Randal West for the video.

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Pussy Riot

24 Aug

The Pussy Riot sentencing sent a chill up my spine and not just because of the echoes of both Stalinism and McCarthyism. It served as a very real reminder that free speech is in jeopardy wherever governments seek to control dissent.

As someone who speaks out against the US government, Obama’s National Defense Authorization Act could technically land me in much greater peril than even Pussy Riot. The characterization of Pussy Riot’s church performance as hate speech is flimsy to the point of being laughable. If pointing out an organization’s hypocrisy and history of exploitation means inciting hatred and is therefore illegal, then virtually any sort of substantive protest is effectively banned. The eerie similarities between the Russian charges and the provisions of the NDAA’s definition of “supporter of terrorism” should not escape anyone.

Let’s be clear though, Pussy Riot is an activist group using performance art as a means of protest. As they themselves admit, if they operated purely as a band and worked within established channels (playing clubs, releasing records), they would not have as great an impact or have become as great a target.

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Post-rock is dead. Long live post-rock.

28 Jul

By now post-rock has devolved into a parody of itself — all pleasant noodles, slow builds, and soaring highs. The glut of Mogwai-clones has left us cold. But there ARE still bands out there building on that foundation and injecting new and startling original takes on the form. We’re proud to be playing shows with some of these people.

8/17 The Garza + Things Falling Apart + Tyranny Is Tyranny @Project Lodge

Our post-metal side project Tyranny Is Tyranny is playing a show with the mysterious Things Falling Apart from DeKalb IL (not to be confused with the Madison band of similar name). TFA is a collective noise-orchestra that smears post-rock from the perspective of Bitches Brew rather than Explosions In The Sky. As an added bonus, Madison punk super-group, The Garza (ex-Droids Attack, Brainerd, Pachinko, Bongzilla) headline.

8/25 United Sons of Toil + The Paver + El Valiente @Frequency

The United Sons of Toil host our new crush The Paver from Chicago. The Paver mixes cello, violin, synths, and crushing aluminum bass with a vocalist who sounds like Steve Albini singing Codeine songs. They bridge the gap between baroque art pop and funeral metal — the combination is devastating yet oddly comforting. In addition we reunite with our pals El Valiente who undoubtedly have their own take on post-rock. Just when you think they’re all about limitless desert vistas and parched bones glowing in the moonlight, they let loose with an explosion of guitars that takes you back to the glory days of post-punk.


Tyranny Is Tyranny

9 Mar

Tyranny Is Tyranny is a side project helmed by Russell and Jason of The United Sons of Toil. The band is simpler and heavier than USoT —  focusing on dynamics, repetition, and the dismantling of capitalism. Tyranny Is Tyranny is the title of the fourth chapter of Howard Zinn‘s A People’s History of the United States.

Like USoT, Tyranny is influenced by the 90s noiserock of Amphetamine Reptile but also draws inspiration from the post-rock/post-metal hybrids of bands like Cult of Luna and Fall of Efrafa. As hinted at by the titular homage to historian Howard Zinn, the lyrical themes are an excoriation of capitalism.

Line Up

  • Russell Emerson Hall: guitar, vocals
  • Jason Jensen: guitar
  • Ben Aldis: drums
  • MDF: bass

First show: Saturday April 14, 7pm
Project Lodge, Madison WI
Perhaps a bit premature, but nonetheless…

We play first and we play five songs, so don’t be late.

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Update: Remix Project

10 Feb

AbletonAs you may remember, we’ve been working on a remix project that we announced way back in September. Here’s what’s going on.

We’ve recieved 11 remixes so far and are waiting on an additional 9. The deadline for submissions is still March 1 and will not be moving again (not this time). Thanks to everyone who has already contributed. We’re looking forward to hearing what the rest of you are working on.

After March 1, the band will listen to everything we have and decide what we’re going to use. We will likely have too many songs so we’ll have to try and maintain some semblance of quality and continuity. Once we decide on the final tracklist, our friend Martin Defatte will master the monstrosity and we’ll begin work on the packaging.

The record will be given away through Bandcamp and available for purchase as a super-deluxe limited-edition CD (probably limited to 40-50? 100). We’re also considering having some sort of listening/release party as well… If you have ideas in that regard, let us know.