There are more reasons to be paranoid than not in This Year of Our Lord 2015. New York's cyborg punk band L.O.T.I.O.N., no stranger to paranoia, questions authority from digital, organic, and systemic realms. Where does this authority come from? What damage it can do? How likely is it that I will take the brunt of misuse? On July 17, 2014, Eric Garner was the recipient of an illegal restraining tactic on the suspicion of selling "illegal cigarettes" and swatting away an encroaching government-sponsored arm. Due to victim's health, the illegal maneuver, and the extended period of time over which the maneuver was delivered, Eric Garner died. This isn't an isolated event, either; rather, it's one incident in the contemporary string of police brutality.
So when L.O.T.I.O.N. is talking about the "Militarized Urban Zone" on the first track from their excellent debut LP Digital Control and Man's Obsolescence, it isn't simply a dig at eerily imperialistic practices of the United States Military. This is status quo on American soil. Even a beacon of civilization and commerce like New York City is held hostage by those obligated to serve and protect. L.O.T.I.O.N.'s lyrical themes concerning control, violence, and censure aren't the stuff of sci-fi, though they certainly have a historical home there. The band is cognizant of this, but to hammer home the importance and ubiquity of their ideas, they use the present tense during lyrics. On "Torture Report," the sickening lyrical mantra "They Do This To People" repeats with the cyclicality of truth. They may have done this to people in the past and will continue to do it in the future, but it's applicable to now. And that's a terrifying thing.