Albums, Wu-Tang

AMO: A Missed Opportunity?

December is a cold month in the northern part of the northern hemisphere. It is the time of the year where you put up decorations for holidays, but also gear up to brace for the freezing cold outside. Hoodied up with Timberlands and a North Face this is not the times for breezy songs.

With this interlude about the cold I liked to talk about Killarmy a bit. Because the other day I was thinking about their first three albums. We got the debut album Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars from 1997. Which was followed up the next year with Dirty Weaponry. After that it took a few years for a new album to appear, which eventually came on September 11th, 2001 in the form of Fear, Love & War1.

For now I just wanted to talk a bit about that title, Fear, Love & War. Because the other day I was placing the titles in order, and the first two seem to fit with the concept of the group. But the title of the third album just seems to be the odd one out. This could be due to the album starting as a 9th Prince solo2, but that is just a guess since I do not know how it was decided upon. 

The first two titles have a clear reference to weapons. In this case we could see the reference to weapons as a metaphor to the music. In the third one this is not so visible, and just broadly alludes to war. Would it not have been more interesting if they kept this in line with a title like Insurgency Weapons and Tactics, Sonic Jihad3, or Weapons of Mass Disruption. Or maybe even looking for something in reference to proxy wars, or even drones. Just think this was a missed opportunity for a nice sounding trilogy. 

That all being said, and it was just a thought, the album still stands to be enjoyed. At least I do. But I am aware not everybody thinks that way about it. One thing I can say is that it misses some of the movie & tv samples that were spliced into the first two records. Those really gave a sense of reflection and reporting. Like the on screen text during a film.

Case in point would be the track Red Dawn from the Dirty Weaponry that ends on a quote about warriors. Which brings me to the video I forgot about originally, but is perfect to share here. Red Red Dawn Dawn is a music video for Red Dawn set to scenes from the film Red Dawn. With this combination it juxtaposes the war themed rhymes from Killarmy with the insurgency of the Wolverines from the film. Making for a cold but on point viewing.

  1. Next to the album being released on September 11th 2001, this album was released on Loud Records. Whereas the previous ones where released through the Wu-Tang Records/Priority Records collaboration. By 2001 Loud Records was in a bad state, after just moving to Sony. According to reports the money was drying up. So little promo was given to the releases that were there. By 2002 the label was shut down unceremoniously. ↩︎
  2. 9th Prince elaborated on this in an Instagram post on his account. It was RZA who convinced him to make it a Killarmy album. Sadly I can not find the post at this moment of writing. ↩︎
  3. Completely aware that this is actually the title of an album by Paris that was released two years later in 2003. ↩︎