|Nineteen Thirteen release their debut effort, MCMXIII, on February 26. The quartet, which includes members of Mouth of the Architect, Twelve Tribes, Neon Warship, etc., wears the significant influences of everyone from Godspeed You! Black Emperor to Silver Mt. Zion, Black Mountain to Pink Floyd, Pile, Unwound and The Mars Volta, and Ennio Morricone and most Western film soundtracks.|
“We got the concept of ‘1913/Nineteen Thirteen’ from a dream Evan [Davell] had,” vocalist Brett Hill says. “1913 was the year that a great flood devastated Dayton, which was the most extensive natural disaster to hit any American city up to that time. It changed the tide for Dayton, and was symbolic of the death of the old world for our city.
“This tied in well to two themes I wanted to explore as a songwriter,” he adds. “The results of the changes within that five year period [1913-1918] in Dayton after the flood and across the whole world what with World War One changing the global system entirely. This led to the content of the first two songs on the album.”
“Post Blue Collar Blues” is about the average children of the working class, living in a time after industrial jobs disappeared and the plight of a destitute city life. “Dog Fight” tackles the experience of a soldier fighting in the trenches during the battle of Verdun, 1916. He witnesses unforgettable atrocities and recalls a time before it was believed this kind of war could be fought. Simply, it gets a little brutal.
“I can’t say I’ve ever written such vivid imagery of war and carnage,” he says of the lyrics: “Is that a horse or is that a human being/ Smeared red upon the earth/In a pit I heard the piggies squealing/Turned back to bacon fat and I tucked in.”
“Old Face on the Wall” is about the torments of being pulled between an old faith and a new one, while “Cripple John” is a fable set in the west around a gun battle between a legendary old-timer Cripple John and the rambunctious youth that are moving into his town.
“Cripple John was a great-great uncle of mine who had a limp his whole life from a Tennessee kids game where you’d try and scale a whole tree and come back down before the other kid could chop it down with an axe. He got axed in the leg at age six.”
The band began recording in August 2019, applying the finishing touches with the engineering/mixing/mastering assistance of Micah Carli at Popside Recording in 2020.
MCMXIII can be purchased in digital or compact disc formats at https://nineteenthirteenmusic.bandcamp.com.