Steve Lieberman the Gangsta Rabbi is an odd entity. To the rest us that is. His debut effort featured a number of moments when the chaotic carnage reached maximum overload and it was fantastic, and that was exactly what his intentions were. All though his over 30 year musical career, Steve has always been driven by the will to stay outside, and more importantly, above the boundaries of conventional musical structures, styles and values. He started out as a hardcore punk aficionado, which was a radical genre in its day, and has since moved on to even more dissonant and louder pastures in his quest to rise above the commercial and mainstream noise.
In the process Steve Lieberman has not only continued to produce original music, but has had the chutzpah to dissect, deconstruct and revisit classic rock music releases by The Who and Jethro Tull. Not to mention his forays into reworking choice classical music and operatic pieces.
All of this has been done with guitars, baritone guitar, bass guitar, trombones (soprano, alto, tenor and bass), recorders (sopraninissamo, soprano, alto, tenor and bass), clarinet, soprano saxophone, melodica, euphronium, flute, talabard and beat machines, played by Steve himself.
As such, “The Noise Militia”, which is considered his final (and ongoing) album, has a lot to build on, and to live up to – and by the sounds of it, the Jewish noise monger appears to be more than prepared for such expectations.
This time around, not only is Steve fusing his high volume cacophony with military music and noise punk, but he is also attempting to set the record for the longest song, which is over 13 hours. Currently, “The Noise Militia” stands at 7 hours, but it is still very much work in progress.
The album will more than likely have you sat wondering what just happened, after only the first few bars have played. It presents a scatter-shot, schizophrenic sonic assault that when in its stride will floor the uninitiated with tremendous ease. For mainstream lovers, it is a difficult listen, with song writing and a harsh sound that is, in all fairness, generally difficult to wrap your head around.
Steve Lieberman has a sound that could be mind-bogglingly good, but the erratic nature of our perceptive powers, when it comes to unconventional music values, mean that often we will miss the mark in appreciating the beautiful dissonant mayhem Steve produces on “The Noise Militia”.
The distorted vocals, instrumentation, and non-conventional presentation in which the music of Steve Lieberman the Gangsta Rabbi is portrayed in this recording, provides a platform for those who are unsatisfied or seeking more than the mainstream. For some, listening to Steve’s music could even be viewed as an act of defiance or rebellion against the mainstream canon.
Steve Lieberman finds his musical extremism in the fusion of contrasting sounds and dissonance. His hardcore sound has earned its place high on the extreme scale, if not the highest. The unusual ‘melodies’ and frenetic pacing of the fifteen song variations in this release, evokes a rather disorienting and uneasy feeling.
As always, Steve pushes his artistic ideas to limits that sometimes come off as not so aesthetically pleasing to the common ear. But then the common ear is the precise appendage, Steve has been challenging and annihilating fearlessly, during his entire career.
So between the album opener, “THE PUPPY DOGS SAVE OLD DOG TREY @ THE FISHING HOLE” and the album closer, “THE SUPERMARKETEERS IN MY POWERCHORD BY THE HUMAN FAKTORY FARM”, nothing is off limits here, and will take you down every unexpected road.
Over the course of Steve Lieberman’s more than three-decade career, his dedication for producing unorthodox, complex and mind-warping hardcore has matured like a fine wine. Here he has incorporated all the experience and facets of his sound to create a record that diverts more attention to the musical technicality of his dissonant noise.
“The Noise Militia” will have you cavorting around like you’re at some crazed cult meeting or in the throes of an especially riotous wake. In these strange times, some strange music is just what we need.