Victory Lap kicks off this new album in fine form, with pedal-to-the-metal punk rock and wearing their hearts on their sleeves, showing that Propagandhi has lost no power in their time between albums. Though it’s been five years, there’s no way these Canadians have been idle – touring the world and staying quite politically active (check their website) – nor changed their outlook or tune. Tour hard, play hard, and make great records – that’s what Propagandhi do!
It’s the bands seventh in the 31 years Propagandhi have been together, founding members guitarist/vocalist Chris Hannah and drummer Jord Samolesky is still in the band, and Victory Lap, album name and opening track, is an excellent product of what fans have come to expect. They are full of power, melody, and opinions that both bite and have bountiful humour in their messages in the songs.
If you don’t know them, take a teaspoon of – their messages and sound – Bad Religion, a pinch of Frenzal Rhomb perhaps, then a taste of fellow Canadian punks D.O.A. and you have these guys, Propagandhi.
Propagandhi with Victory Lap has created a fantastic and well-balanced album. There are some kick ass tunes leading its charge with the title track, then as “Comply Resist” eases in it soon picks up a bone-crunching pace. “Nigredo” is one of a few tunes, found further in the mix, which slows the pace nicely, as “In Flagrante Delicto” and “Tartuffe” rocks it up again. “Failed Imagineer” is the fave of mine. It has doses of melody but absolutely slams! Lyrically heavy also, but endearing as well, the ratcheting guitar line (you’ll find it) is my ear worm for the next month!
The lyrics of title track “Victory Lap” paints a picture of some of what’s going on in the world of politics, and native people, etc. It then puts itself in what might be the everyday person, ‘God, are you there? It’s me. In the denim jacket’ beginning to think what is this going on in this world? But feels can’t be heard… The music kicks hard too! The production of Victory Lap is crisp enough to hear the messages over the tunes, but Hannah’s lilt won’t throttle you if it’s not what you are here for.
I guess you can say that Propagandhi has music you can slam to but they likely hope you get something from their lyrics as well, a by-product in a way. Victory Lap is an album that is hard to disappoint – something here for everyone.