There’s certainly no shortage when it comes to variations of punk rock in 2020. In some places, it’s beholden to the ebb and flow of cultural trends, in others you may see it being performed on breakfast TV shows and even more, it acts as a weapon wielded against the powers that be; one of the only effective means to do so. It’s within the folds of the latter that we find Kenyan afropunks Crystal Axis, who have taken aim at systematic oppression and rot with their new single ‘Take The Throne’.
“The people have always had the power and it’s time we realised that and started demanding for change and accountability from our so called ‘leaders’,” Guitarist Djae Aroni tells Blunt Magazine. “All across the world people are getting tired and we’re reaching breaking point like the #BLM protests around the globe, the #EndSARS protests going on in Nigeria right now; it’s all people saying ‘enough is enough, we need change now’. ‘Take The Throne’ is literally about that, taking our power back. It’s calling for the dismantling of harmful systems used to oppress and stifle our voices.”
Steeped in distorted DIY grime, ‘Take The Throne’ is a rough and tumble offering to the Gods of punk rock that would absolutely appease the movement’s forefathers and their counter-culture sensibilities. Largely powered by a simple yet enchanting guitar lick, the true centre piece of ‘Take The Throne’ is the guttural, abrasive narrative, which essentially reaches out to the listener; inviting us to join the battle, at least in a mental capacity, against corruption and social injustice not just in Kenya, but all over the world.
“‘Take The Throne’ is a call-to-action to dismantle harmful systems designed to suppress and frustrate people all over the world while only benefitting a select few members of the ‘elite’,” Crystal Axis say of the message. “2020 has illustrated that there must be a major shift in the world and ‘Take The Throne’ is a reactionary song that highlights the disillusionment of ordinary people the world over. The single also addresses issues of police brutality and corruption in Kenya and the use of government forces to suppress protestors and people the world over.”
The track was recorded and produced by band member Djae Aroni, a name you may have seen on several bylines proudly posted to Blunt Magazine. The single’s artwork, created by Nairobi artists Naila Aroni and Blacky Warhol is also worthy of note, given its connection to the song. As described: “the concept illustrates the dismantling of patriarchal structures holding back the advancement and growth of modern day society.”