This new album just released by Victor Sierra is deliciously dark, delightfully intense, and deliriously Steampunk! It opens with a musical sequence that makes you feel you just woke up with a hangover as extra Shanghaied crew in the hold of some dirigible about to engage in aerial combat and blaring dark Germanic music of war to terrify their enemies. Man, I knew not to trust that German barmaid when she offered me something “really strong for free”! It moves rapidly from one world musical style, culture, and language to the next through the great courage of Yiddish, the ingenuity of the English, the romance of the French, then dives into the hot-blooded passion of Spain! If you do not speak all these languages, not to worry, the emotions are raw enough you won’t need a translator for this album!
I asked about the languages and learned that the one I was having trouble with was Yiddish, so naturally I asked why. Bob told me he was Jewish from a family originating from eastern Europe. I thought about that for a moment and then asked, "Do you mind if I point out that use of Yiddish, now that I think of it, helps make the album all the more Punk in some ways, because the struggle of Jewish people in Europe is also one of the greatest tales of courage against oppression in human history? It sort of ties into the whole Steampunk philosophy of rebellion against commercial giants and society trying to force everyone to conform to trashy commercialism and repression of creativity." He said he was fine with that as I definitely had the right idea about how Yiddish tied into the album for him.
It presents Dieselpunk musical styles from the days of WWI through the times around WWII throughout the European theater with Steampunk themes of courage, duty, love, and loss throughout. While many bands are called Steampunk, Victor Sierra is one of the very few that puts explicitly Steampunk themed adventure and content into the majority of their work. While it was written with the listening audience in mind, it's also very dance worthy music, which is important to dance addicts like myself.
To give you a small taste of the themes in the album, I asked permission to post a few verses from one of the English songs Shadows In the Rain:
WHEN THE WIND IS BLOWING AND WHEN THE WORD IS SAID
EVERYONE IS MOVING AND NO ONE IS AFRAID
WHEN THE BAND IS PLAYING WHEN THE PROMISE IS MADE
WHERE THE RAGE IS BURNING THERE ARE DEBTS TO BE PAID
WHEN CITIES ARE MADDENING AND WHEN AIRPLANES FLY LOW
BABIES ARE SEEING THINGS THINGS THAT WE DON’T KNOW
WHEN RIVERS ARE BOILING WHEN SIX TURNS INTO NINE