Thursday, March 12, 2009

Propagandhi - Supporting Caste

It's record number five for Canada's Propagandhi. They've been around in one way, shape or form since 1986, making political punk rock from their stronghold North of The Border. I came to the Propagandhi after developing a pretty serious Weakerthans infatuation and discovering that John K. had tenured with them previously. I expected them to be a lot more introspective (ie: Weakerthans-esque) and didn't give them too much notice as a result. Even a show at Wetlands that internet nostalgists hold in high regard bored the pants off me. Of course I've been wrong before, and didn't like Left And Leaving the first time I heard it, either, something that is a bit of a chin scratcher for me to this day, so I was eager to check out Supporting Caste when it came my way.

Although Supporting Caste is on their own G7 Welcoming Committee Records (with help from Smallman) Propagandi used to be on Fat, and were arguably the political Fat Mike era NOFX when the California kids were still mining a vein of post-R.K.L pun punk.  The band recently expanded to a four-piece with the addition of second guitarist Dave 'The Beaver" Guillas and continues to move in a harder direction. Suffice to say, you can tell that Rise Against have Propagandhi records in their collections. Like most of the records of today, Supporting Caste was recorded at The Blasting Room, Bill Stevenson works his usual magic, capturing one of punk rock most chops-flexing bands at the height of their powers. There is thrashier fare like This Is Your Life, but for the most part it's all about big hooks. They drive tunes like Human(e) Meat and The Banger's Embrace and will have you shouting along regardless of your politics. Said Meat track also sports one hell of a solo from Chris Hannah, who is a fucking force. It's going to be back to barre chords for a lot of fools after this record gets around.

Of course it's around now. It popped up on the web a bit beforehand, and there was some sort of pre-buy thing going on for two songs in advance of the release Supporting Caste this past Tuesday, but this will no doubt be a lucrative endeavor for the anti-materialist politicos of Propagandhi. I can see a lot of Winnipeg non-profits benefiting from this record. Propagandhi have been touring with the mighty Paint It Black for the last couple weeks and show up in town tonight at Highline Ballroom and tomorrow out at Music Hall Of Williamsburg. I'm interested to see if I enjoy the live show as much as I enjoyed Supporting Caste. Pick up Supporting Caste here from the good folk of G7 Welcoming Committee in the cd, vinyl or download form. See you tonight at Highline.


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