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The energy is loud, large, and uncompromising, the vocals dance between melodic and sweet, and the themes are grandiose and unabashedly in-your-face. It’s an intriguing combo couched in punk rock, but there’s a sweeping finesse to the performance that’s out of character all the same. This is “theatrepunk”, a riotous blend of rebellion and epic stage-influenced stylings with an unencumbered lyrical direction. In the case of Pasadena’s Countless Thousands, it’s about attempting to capture the state of America in the chaos and self-immolation of 2020:
“This is our official statement of the American Moment. It was recorded entirely under quarantine in two kitchens.”
Politics might underpin the theme of most tunes on …and the Triumph of Justice, but it’s carefully supplanted with self-aware humour and ridiculousness. For example, with the “fascist bashing space opera” of ‘Space Nazis Must Die!’, and on ‘Murder Assassins from the Future’. The message might be deadly serious, but the delivery is through shamelessly geeky humour and references that belie a necessary antidote to pretention in the band’s character.
Although the record is overtly punk, Countless Thousands weave in numerous homages for extra spice. Ranging from Brian May’s signature guitar style on the opener, ‘The Triumph of Justice’, to the Stephen Foster-esque, rootsy ‘Americana of Hard Times (Come Again No More)’. Even Jimi Hendrix gets a nod with ‘Star-Spangled Banner on the Moon’, whose jazzy, rumbling build-up explodes into a frenzied, caustic whirlwind of noise and punk energy in the last minute.
The unpredictability of …and the Triumph of Justice lends credence to the theme of the record, and it is an all-round fun and liberating listen. Whether it’s a pop-rock banger, raging punk, calm folk, lofty piano breaks, experimental noise, or Misfits-style anthems, you never know what you’re in for next—and that’s what makes this record such a unique and interesting journey.