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PROPAGANDHI – ‘Victory Lap’ Album Review

PROPAGANDHI – Victory Lap

PropagandhiPropagandhi are set to release their new album Victory Lap on September 29th via Epitaph records. It’s been five years since the last album Failed States but these Canadians can still rock it. They have added a new member to the band, Sulynn Hago, a seasoned guitar-slinger from Tampa, Florida. Her arrival came on the heels of a departure: after nine years with Propagandhi, David “The Beaver” Guillas wisely elected to get a real job, teaching the next generation instead of cramming their brains with jacked-up guitars. (That said, he’s still all over Victory Lap, contributing licks to four songs.)

The brilliant opening title track, Victory Lap marries revved up Black Sabbath riffs with fast paced drums and lyrics creating a punk rock frenzy full of hooks and pointed lyrics including a spoken word plea to God…this is one solid song that had me begging for more! On Comply/Resist the softly strummed guitar and solo voice set up some menacing power chords and some complex drumming before simply hurtling at 150mph with some awesome power. Cop Just Out Of Frame also employs a quasi-spoken word intro and then speeds up with some screaming guitar licks and hooks.

Propaganghi have always been fiercely political, that never backed down from calls for justice. Yet the events of 2016 still left them reeling, facing a landscape in which fascism is, among a certain crowd, suddenly trendy. The politics of the world are mixed with the politics of day-to-day life with grief over family deaths to births of children!

The album contains 12 tracks with When All Your Fears Collide mixing walls of guitar chords interspersed with acoustic licks and then a relentless progression of guitars support the angst ridden vocals. The solo guitar intro to Letters To A Young Anus leads into one of the fastest punk rock tracks I’ve heard in ages with guitar licks that Bad Religion would be proud of – it is a powerhouse of a track.

At the half-way point, Lower Order (A Good Laugh) continues to display the complex interplay between the musicians with mellower sound overall and it is followed by Failed Imagineer where the band rock things up again and load up on the hooks – sure to be a circle-pit pleaser!

Call Before You Dig has a heavier tone with heavy bass and serrated guitars and builds to a soaring melody infused cracker of a song and is followed by Nigredo where a searing intro gives way to an eerie atmosphere with single guitar and then back again to a plaintive vocal with those signature complex interactions between drums, bass and guitars with the vocal producing a New Model Army feel to this song.

In Flagrente Delicto is a rocket-ship of a track with prominent bass guitar licks, melody and hooks and no shortage of power!

On the penultimate track, Tartuffle, the lyric “We came here to rock. Single moms to the front. Deadbeat dads to the rear. That’s how we do it here” sees Propagandhi pumping out their effective and authentic formula just like they always have – they are more relevant in 2017 than ever. Sheer rock and roll power, challenging lyrics and tons of hooks to sink your teeth into.

Ending the twelve pack with Adventures In Zoochosis with the sound of bouncing balls and laughing children joined by a keyboard, drums, guitar and conversations interrupted by snippets of Tr*mp “build a wall” shite, the song builds to serrated guitars and powers forward with clever lyrics suggesting we return to our “enclosures” in the “zoo” excited to see “what our keepers have planned.” It’s a call to action and one we need to heed!

Get this “must have” by Propagandhi here: http://epitaph.com/artists/propagandhi

 

 

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