On September 9, 2014, Kansas City rockers THE ARCHITECTS will release their multimedia second installment, Border Wars: Episode II on Exodus Entertainment. Combining the visual flair and rich, dark storytelling of a powerful and gritty graphic novel with the visceral punk rock attitude for which The Architects have long been known, Episode II continues the saga about (in the band’s words), “young heroes, corrupt villains, drugs, blood, reality TV, more blood, televangelism, violence, revenge and…well, blood.” “We are doing Border Wars because it’s ten thousand times cooler and more fun than the bullshit most people settle for these days,” Brandon Phillips, frontman of The Architects bluntly says of Border Wars. “Some people will disagree with that assessment, but they don’t get a vote. The only non-band members who get a vote are the fans who buy, borrow, trade or steal a copy of each new episode in the series.”
The culmination of nearly two years of blood and sweat-sodden labor, Episode II was composed while consuming tens of thousands of cigarettes and thousands of midnight hours to bring fans the biggest, coolest experience possible. Planned as an episodic five part series, Border Wars is told through a collection of comic book stories illustrated by Mallory Dorn and soundtracked through the accompanying CD by The Architects. From the Cheap Trick-influenced, sticky-teenage-love-affair-tragedy opening track “Killer Crush,” through the album closer “Criminal,” the second installment of Border Wars shreds the conceptions of how a release should be approached. Through dramatic musicality and a thrilling plotline, Border Wars push The Architects into the storied company of The Who, Peter Gabriel-era Genesis, My Chemical Romance and other theatrical rockers providing fans with a storyline as much as a collection of songs. Episode II‘s lead single, “Cadillac” struts into “Kickswaggerboom,” with self-assured machismo, creating a vintage combo laced with cock-rock guitar riffs and testosterone. The album builds progressively into the fervent “Raise Up,” fusing Southern Baptist-esque musical sermonizing with Southern rock bass riffs before concluding with “Criminal.”
To really understand Border Wars, you first have to wrap your head around The Architects’ outlook on the current state of the music industry as a whole. The Kansas City natives look to redefine the modern idea of “doing something big.” With a “you may well be able to outsell me, but you’ll never out-create me” approach to their latest release, Brandon Phillips and company are set to shatter the preconception that auditioning for The Voice is the only way to succeed. Headed into the second installment, Phillips reflects on the first round of releases “People are way more open to the idea of a comic book/concept album than all the music business guys would have you believe. Honestly, they were nearly unanimous in telling us that we were making a bad decision. Yet, we met people every night who were really excited to check the comic and the music out.” The result of that process has yielded a concept album that few bands are daring enough to approach, let alone attempt. For The Architects, it wasn’t a question of whether they were going to tackle this imposing task, but when. “People have been asking us in droves when they could get their hands on the new Episode II songs,” admits Phillips. “So long as they keep giving any fucks, we can keep giving all our fucks to this.”
The Architects are Brandon Phillips (Vocals, Guitar), Zach Phillips (Bass Guitar), Adam Phillips (Drums) and Keenan Nichols (Guitars). Border Wars: Episode II will be released digitally September 9, 2014 on Exodus Entertainment.
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