(I dragged my feet on reviewing this one because I’m scared of how good this band is in terms of the rocking and politicking- so smart in my mind. Released Sept. 2017, hope you enjoy my belated review)
The hard part about reviewing Propagandhi is the Wikipedia black hole that you’ll fall into researching references. Overtly social and political they attack in every song with few letting up on the themes they want to hammer home. Since the 90s on Fat Wreck Chords when they pushed a politically charged progressive message in every song with reference filled liner notes, Propagandhi has wanted to inspire activism among it’s audience.
With Victory Lap, they move away from trying to get people on a bandwagon and instead dive into more introspection and awareness of perspective. No longer do they call forth the audience to get in the streets to burn them down but instead take time to consider who is talking (whether them or the other) and what the message from that perspective is. They aren’t trying to be apologists but rather than insert themselves into the narrative they try to let the participants speak for themselves. These conclusions were gleaned from a great article and interview from Noisey.
While this record doesn’t meet the intensity I want out of Propagandhi, reading about what was behind it made me enjoy it more. I get the more reflective tone of the singing, song writing and even musicianship. Singer-guitarist, Chris Hannah, hopes this change signals evolution in what they have to say as they mature in the self-awareness that any writing might distill the message into a particular prejudice despite the overt attempts at empathy.
Earlier this year my colleague pointed out the goodness of “Failed Imagineer,” and he was write but there is more on here that does enough to call back to older Propagandhi while also seeing them grow out of adolescent fury and into impassioned middle-age. “Victory Lap” comes out of the gate hard and keeps it going throughout while “Comply/Resist” speaks to the confusion of comfort today and the need to call out injustice. In the end, it’d be important to go through the lyrics to many of these songs because Hannah is a story teller and wants you to follow along so you might be partly prepared to fight, reflect or in the least know a bit more about something you didn’t know before.
#propagandhi #review #punk #victorylap