Album Review: Jane Archer and the Reactionaries – Great Atomic Power

It’s a strange feeling, disquieting yet oddly gleeful, while the President of the United States is musing on Twitter about the relative size of his nuclear launch button, hearing Jane Archer and friends sing these Cold War-era hymns to the life-giving power of the almighty American nuclear arsenal.

Jane ArcherWe’ve been asked “Are you ready for that great atomic power?” before, first and most soberly by the Louvin Brothers, and then with slacker irony by Uncle Tupelo during the Gulf War. Here the songs get a Broadside magazine type treatment, earnestly sung in plain voices and kitchen harmonies, but with the valence reversed, so that when they sing, “Let the government run its business, and let me run my own,” they mean the opposite.

I live for this kind of thing, and am in awe of the crate digging that went into the song selection, but some will find it uneasy listening.

Jane Archer and the Reactionaries’ Great Atomic Power is available for purchase on Bandcamp.

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David Tough

David Tough


David Tough is a musician, scholar, and journalist from Peterborough, Ontario. He is Senior Editor of Electric City Magazine.