By Chris Tihor
Propagandhi, Manitoba’s own pacifistic, tofu-eating hardcore musical warriors, are back with another hard-nosed album full of pounding drums, powerful guitars and lyrics devoted to hockey, class warfare and even some modest proposals for cannibalism.
On opening track “Night Letters” the band starts out with a mighty, mosh pit ready shredding guitar riff that doesn’t let up until the 46-minute album is over. “Dear Coach’s Corner” is a lament of the state of hockey and sports co-option by right-wing interests. Over vocals that criticize Don Cherry’s rightward lurch and his constant cry to “support the troops,” vocalist Chris Hannah delivers the vocals with white-knuckled intensity. Guitar work by Hannah and Dave Guillas further accentuate Hannah’s vocals, showing the punk rock fury that has fuelled the band for nearly 20 years.
For a group like Propagandhi, the lyrical content is front-and-centre. The songs are devoted to the group’s normal areas: veganism (“Human(e) Meat”), class warfare (“Supporting Caste”), depression and suicide (“The Funeral Procession”). Of course, for a hardcore act like Propagandhi, they are inherently polemical, but also offer a powerful dose of radicalized leftist ideology in a perfectly palatable musical package.
Correction: In the original version of this story a number errors were present. The title of the album is Supporting Caste, not Supporting Castes; the first track is Night Letters, not Night Matters; and the album was jointly released by Smallman and G7 Welcoming Committee, not solely by G8 Welcoming Committee. The Gauntlet apologizes for any confusion.