Breaking News; I do not have my ear as close to ground as I used to, having failed to register that Canada’s Propagandhi recently released a new album, and it’s on Epitaph. So, having spotted this by chance in a high street music chain, whilst dodging a downpour, I duly stumped up the asking price.
I was a relatively late starter to Propagandhi, with their first 2 albums barely registering on my radar. I had them down as just-another production-line ‘Fat (Wreck)’ band. My conversion came with 3rd album “Today’s Empires, Tomorrow’s Ashes” which hit me like a jet plane. The union of Thrash Metal, Hard Rock and banging Hardcore, played out to a seriously intelligent and impassioned radical-political agenda, won me over. Learned my lesson. Have been onboard ever since.
Like all great confrontational music, you do not stick on a Propagandhi album, and then get on with something else, whilst the ‘tunes’ idly hum in the background. No fucking way. You soak up the finely crafted (rampaging) music, and give your full attention to the lyrical scripture.
“Failed States“ ruminates not just on basket case countries in faraway places, where punks have their heads shaved by religious intolerants, and lesbian footballers are raped by men to teach them a ‘lesson’, but also closer to home, in our own free and pleasant lands, where life is not always so peachy, and it’s important to take a stand. And all this to a riotously furious soundtrack of precision executed music that veers from tender layered moments, to balls-out jackhammer Thrash/Core ultra-heaviness.
For my money, possibly their strongest album to date. Dyna-fuckin’mite.
Words: Pete Craven