An intense passion for political issues hardly has to be confined to overtly “punk” and “hardcore” music. Hostile Array is a relatively new project from Maryland that draws musical inspiration from bands like Norma Jean and Underoath, and along with that musical side, they’ve got a passionate, outwardly minded sociopolitical message to share.
Their debut, self-titled album is available now, and it’s teeming with a boldness that makes them stick out. While the passion for cutting back government corruption that they share on the album is something that matters to them personally, they also want to see some change.
Serious Sociopolitical Issues
Issues that vocalist Brendan Frey names as specifically worthy of scrutiny include the infusion of money into politics and the dismal treatment of some immigrant communities in the modern world.
On the first subject, he explains: “I definitely think that a system with less money in politics would be a huge step up. I think you have a lot of people that are in it for their own self gain to push their own personal agendas, and I’d like to see something that reduces the intrusion of government into the personal factors of people’s lives. I think that the more invasive they become, the more corruption you’re going to see.”
When it comes to the treatment of immigrants, something that’s become a widely talked about issue post-January 20, 2017, thanks to scrutiny of the United States government’s treatment of them, Frey has a rather personal stake in the back-and-forth — the band’s own drummer, Fredy Menjivar, is an immigrant from El Salvador. Thus, when angry talking heads lash out at immigrants as supposedly worthy of extra suspicion, that hits close to home for Frey.
Speaking of immigrants, he explains his perspective by saying: “You have people referring to them as thugs and terrorists and things like that, when really the vast majority of them are just people looking for better lives. You can get into all of the policy aspects of how to structure the immigration system, but at the end of the day, these are people just like us.”
Indeed — no matter who might like to ignore the facts of the situation, most of those in the United States have immigrant backgrounds. Thus, the vast majority of Americans also have some kind of personal connection to immigrant communities, which makes scrutiny of first generation immigrants over immigrant descendants who happen to have been born in the U.S. make, perhaps, even less sense.
Hostile Array Aims For Change
That’s not where Hostile Array leaves the situation though. The aims that they bring via their political perspectives to their music focus on allowing the individual to shine above the grimness of the money fueled political machine. Frey wants individuals to be empowered, both in general and through his music.
“I definitely think that we’re starting to see a lot more interest from some of the younger generations just in politics in general and in issues that matter to them,” Frey says. “I definitely would like to see people thinking more with a vested interest in their individual rights and not allowing those to be trampled by unjust laws and systems that don’t really allow for that individualistic freedom.”
He continues: “I definitely want to inspire people to start thinking heavier about the issues at hand. A lot of people don’t really think about the political side of things until it affects them personally, and a lot of times when it affects them personally, it’s already too late to really change the trajectory of that policy or that specific issue. So I think that definitely getting people to get more involved or start thinking about it before it gets to that point is extremely important.”
To that end, Hostile Array’s debut album can be streamed below. Although Frey is unsure of the precise direction of the band going forward, he sees a concern for acutely pressing sociopolitical issues as integral to the project’s foundation, explaining: “I don’t know where it’s going to be in the next couple years as far as whether or not the message is exactly the same or what trajectory we’re going to go on, but I definitely think that it’s our foundation, and I don’t think we would ever want to fully step away from that. We have a larger purpose of what we’d like this band to represent.”