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Music to Fight Evil
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The irresistibly catchy Trial and Error proves that just because you hate injustice, it doesn't mean you have to stop moshing. Frank Turner crashes headlong into Sum 41 in a bubbly 2 minutes 50 seconds of pogo polemic by Colorado four-piece One Flew West.

Whilst the melody might be deceptively cheerful, the lyric is unambiguously pissed off at the inclination of our leaders to endlessly repeat the mistakes of history.

"I just wanna say fuck you in a million different ways," sings frontman Linden Jackson. "Cos no one wants to learn by trial and error these days."

"For some baffling reason, we're still currently dealing with issues that were present in the mid-twentieth century," guitarist David Disalvo tells me, referring presumably to recent hot-button issues like racism, sexual inequality and gay rights. "People often like to say that these problems have been solved already, but only because those problems don't affect them personally. They ignore the struggles of people around them, because it 'isn't their problem'. Given our current political climate, it feels like too often we take one step forward and ten steps back."

One Flew West are a group of high school friends from the smallish town of Longmont (estimated population 92,858) who have worked the club circuit for a few years, building a local following before moving to Denver and releasing their Selective Memory EP in 2015. They haven't previously been a very "political" band up till now but, as David says, the time has come to "call out the bullshit that we as a society need to fix, and bring attention to the fact that we can't just ignore our obvious flaws."

I don't know much about Colorado, but looking at the electoral map, it's a familiar picture of a region narrowly dominated by a blue oasis of urban and suburban Democrat voters surrounded by a huge mass of rural, red Republicans who no doubt fail to share the values and concerns of their Denver neighbours.

But that doesn't mean One Flew West has aligned with any particular party.

"We need to stop entrenching ourselves in political ideals," says David, "and just start showing compassion and support for our fellow human beings."

Colorado may be one or two cities away from being a Trump state, but so far One Flew West haven’t succumbed to the urge to flee to the coasts in search of wider artistic - and more "compassionate" - communities.

"We love Colorado," says David, "and we're very lucky to live and cultivate our music in such an open-minded and supportive community. The problems we address in Trial and Error are not Colorado-specific, and are more universal issues. They exist everywhere, so we don't feel like living somewhere else would make them go away."

When I ask David exactly who the "fuck yous" are directed to, he's a little coy. In spite of the lyric ("Well you know damn well who you are"), David won't point the finger at individuals.

"The 'Fuck You' is directed at anyone who sees horrible things happening around them, and either does nothing to stop it or even encourages it to continue."

"We want everyone to be aware of their surroundings," he concludes, "and stand up and say 'fuck you' when there’s bad shit going on around them." 

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About the curator: Jon Ewing

After graduating from the University of Keele in England with a degree in Politics and American Studies, Jon worked as editor of a music and entertainment magazine before spending several years as a freelance writer and, with the advent of the internet, a website designer, developer and consultant. He lives in Reading, home to one of the world's most famous and long-running music festivals, which he has attended every year since 1992.

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