"Less Talk, More Rock" CD (Fat Wreck Chords)
It's hard to write about Propagandhi's music the way it deserves to be written about on such a beautiful morning as this. But maybe this is the perfect time, when all the subjects the band addresses, when all the sexism, racism and homophobia hasn't gotten to work, out of bed, or even woken up for that matter. Well, not like such emotions ever "wake up," used in the metaphorical sense, they don't exactly regain consciousness because such things are, in and of themselves, a form of sleeping. Much like "How to Clean Everything," and Propagandhi's split 10" with I Spy, "Less Talk, More Rock" is blistering political punk, blunt enough to feel like being beaten senseless with a club carrying all the horrible and brutal realities we somehow manage to ignore on a daily basis yet tender enough to remind us we aren't alone in feeling helpless, uncertain and scared, as long as we don't allow our fears and feelings to immobilize us. This album strips the shackles and mechanical devices from the animals, the blinders from the people and points the finger where it belongs - power structures, class loyalties and the like. Make no mistake, Propagandhi is political, but they couch their vehemently just and humane politics in melodic, speedy punk songs. They may be rants, but they're cogent, coherent rants decorated with a spoonful of musical sugar to help the antitoxins slide down the back of our collective throat. We've all been poisoned for so fucking long, thinking certain groups should be treated certain ways due to our socialization, the media depiction of people and what is socially accepted that I'm not sure if the antitoxin will take effect in the people who need it most, but it's impossible to listen to these songs and not want to do something. Maybe it's something as simple as reading a book or something more complex, like organizing a group at a high school or college to fight back against sexist and racist institutions, date rape, homophobia and trying to educate people about what's going on beneath the surface of what they see and hear, what those transmitted viral messages really mean and how they really infect our cognitive systems and what they really effect, how they really, at a subconscious or even conscious level, influence who and how we are. As Edward Sapir once wrote, "We see and hear and otherwise experience very largely as we do because the language habits of our community predispose certain choices of interpretation." As Benjamin Whorf later wrote, "People act about situations in ways which are like the ways they talk about them." So what does all this mean? It's pretty simple actually. Propagandhi provides listeners with the chance to analyze their actions, language and thoughts and encourages everyone to do so. And there's no excuse for not doing something after listening to this album. This is the sound I will conduct my own personal revolution to as I analyze how I contribute to oppressive systems and what I can do to change myself and then start on the world around me.