Propaghandi – Supporting Caste

Artist: Propagandhipropagandhi-supporting-caste
Album: Supporting Caste
Genre: Punk Rock
Label: Smallman
In 2007 Chris Hannah (from the punk rock band Propagandhi) was sited on their official website as being voted one of the Worst Canadians in History. Reasons for this unique award are unknown. Canada’s National History Society published this posthumous honor in a journal. Believe-it-or-not Hannah beat out current Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and infamous serial killer Paul Bernardo to claim the title. This event honestly is no surprise being that the group is contained activists in varied categories; pro-gay, pro-feminist, pro-civil liberties, anti-fascism and too many more to count. 

Gladly it seems that Propagandhi has turned over a new leaf. Their musical vantage point has shifted and the group is creating a sound seemingly outside themselves with 2009’s Supporting Caste. The album demonstrates very smooth transitioning and one song seems to roll effortlessly into the next. The riffs are tight, the group smartly synchronized and the raw vocal display the angst of an old school Bad Religion/NoFX. The one aspect that resounds through the never-ending intensity of drumming and punishing guitar is the darker lyrical element. It is a true punk endeavor at its best.

To start of with the first two tracks, “Night Letters” and “Supporting Caste”, wake the listener up with heavy guitar distortion and demanding drum attacks. Punctuated by ever-changing melodies, drumming patterns and heart-stopping tempo changes, these tracks are two of my favorites. The two that most impress me and raise the musical bar are “Without Love” and “Dear Coach’s Corner.” The tracks provide emotional and heartfelt support for the war related topics poignantly woven throughout the album. The characteristics of these songs are that each has its unique direction…never trying to imitate the last.

Our own Billy T sat down with Jord from Propagandhi and asked how the album title was derived. He said that it’s, “Demystifying the reality that is thrust upon us by the prevailing order, who have been victors of wars of conquest is one intent of the theme of the album, and that reality and history is represented by people who have been on top.” His message presents the thought of questioning. Who are we to sit back while the people on top control our fate? We are fighting the congress’ war and we should not be so quick to follow these people into unknown territories. The band unmistakably makes a keen and critical statement by saying that people in the lower hierarchies can exhibit even the smallest action to create change for the better. 

This cohesive work is, beyond a doubt, Propagandhi’s best effort to date. Whether it’s the thrashing instrumentals or the aggressive vocals grabbing us by the throat the listener is certain to enjoy Propagandhi’s Supporting Caste. If you love true punk and supporting the scene then run, don’t walk, to pick up this cd. 

*Written By: Grant Trimboli*
Score: 7.5/10

James Shotwell
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