Berdaulat: Township Rebellion calls for changes for the better (an opinion on a 2021 EP)

Today is the great example of a day started right. I’ve opened my Spotify and because I was in a hurry, I’ve clicked on the first option the app gave me. And because I’m reviewing the album by Township Rebellion, you don’t have to be a genius to guess which option it was. It was Berdaulat.

Because I am a cheapo, I only listen to free Spotify, which means the songs are on random, and before we’re delving into the album itself, I want to share a funny thing.

Imagine listening to this radical anti-System group and suddenly, the spotify algorithm decides to throw in Dua Lipa song! I’ve chuckled a bit and it’s dawned on me – what a perfect contrast!

Anyway, Dua Lipa was not in the playlist for more than a few seconds…however, Berdaulat remains, because we need some soundtrack for a change! And, as far as the change is concerned, Dua Lipa it is not.

Anyway, Township Rebellion, as you might have guessed from the band name, is a band influenced by Rage Against The Machine. And as with the review (or opinion) on the album by Whiplash, we can accuse them of ripping off the RATM, or praise them for following in the footsteps of their idols and being a perfect tribute band.

I am choosing a second option and if Township Rebellion will be labeled “Indonesian Rage Against The Machine”, I have no problem with that. On the contrary, I think they are more honest and with a more reasons to voice their problems with the society than the so-called revolutionaries on the corporate label.

Anyway, enough bitchin’, let’s enjoy this album.

It contains 7 tracks, the last one being accoustic version of the track #6 “Romance De Movimiento”. Opening with “Cangkul Patah”, you can get into the RATM vibe in no time, but that’s just a warm up before – in my opinion – their best track, “Sejarah Merah”, as the song nomor dua. The musicianship is top notch, I love the guitar effects (remember how we’ve collected our jaws seeing Tom Morello playing?) and the vocalist gives his best. Fantastic track this is!

And another fantastic track is next one! “Suara Tuhan” is an Indonesian response to “Bullet In the Head”, that’s no doubt about that. Boy, that brings memories now!

Berdaulat

By now you either love them or hate them, but you can’t deny their efforts. The songs are flawless, the feel is absolute…man, again, repeating myself – this is another band from Indonesia needing to be discovered.

“Night on Fire” has the English lyrics and now the comparison to RATM can be complete. Who wins? Doesn’t matter, the song kicks ass. That’s the winner.

And the last song is “Romance De Movimiento” and this one is – to my surprise – a different breed. Not a RATM clone per se (although you can still can hear the inspiration), I like the chorus here, which makes the song to stand out from the rest of tracks on this awesome EP. And it’s the longest one as well.

Its accoustic version is 34 second shorter, but it’s so sweet. I like this version as well – it’s still the same song, but yet it ain’t. I am maybe more inclined to choose this version as my favourite…and again, my hat goes off to vocalist.

Check the Spotify for this fantastic release and I hope it’s available also in physical format! Follow the band on their Instagram and give them a lot of love!

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I am the founder/owner and editor-in-chief of the Rubber Axe webzine, the underground/overground cultural publication, publishing also this website dedicated to all things Indonesian. I'm a happily married guy with 2 kids and a fantastic wife, and I'm a relentless discoverer of all things cultural and culinary. An everlasting dreamer and idealist.

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