Propagandhi
Less Talk, More Rock


3.5
great

Review

by Francis Jones USER (32 Reviews)
June 15th, 2006 | 27 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist


I have very mixed feelings about this record, in some ways I wish to give it a superb rating, and in other ways I want to give it an average. There are some brilliant messages, and some weak messages within, aswell as some powerful music and some weak music. Propagandhi have always claimed to be a progressive thrash band, and not a punk band. I dont know why they feel to let us know this so often, punk rock isn't so bad, and I dont think that this is true of them until they recorded 'Today's empires, tomorrow's ashes', this sounds like a fast paced punk rock record, and its all the better for it.

The first two tracks on this record are of a similar pace, and flow into each other well. The twangy bass comes in, with a thrashy punk rock riff plays over the top. With Chris' brilliant polemic lyrics rasping defiantley over the top. ''You can feign ignorance, but your not stupid, your just selfish.'' He certainly has a great way with words, making you feel stupid for doing the things you do, and feeling that you SHOULD be doing something, and you SHOULD feel bad for not doing anything. However, for those firmly in the right or left against what Propagandhi believe, this will probably make you annoyed, and feel anger that some Canadian is telling you what to do. I dont sit too well with most political ideals, so I did not feel that uncomfortable, it reassured me that my choices towards a harmless and virtuous life had been good ones. ''Consider someone else, stop consuming animals.'' Is the genral message to 'Nailing Discartes to the wall / liquid meat is still murder', these first two songs, which are focused on thier firm animal friendly stance, this is met with intelligent lyrics, which is uncommon for most of the animal friendly punk rock bands I have heard, who dont seem to know nearly as much.

The title track ''less talk, more rock'' has a very different message altogether, which is a rhetoric against the thugish and homophobic attitude of many hardcore kids and punks, who lets them know half way through, that if they enjoy this song, they are celebrating his sexuality. This is a good message to convey, as homophobia needs to be recognised as the immature and hateful thing it is, and Chris's piss take of them is a step in the right direction, since then, other bands have taken the same stance, such as leftover crack.

Anchorless has the bassists Todd ''The Rod'' singing instead, his voice is of a much lighter tone to Chris' not dissimilar to John Feldmann's pop punk vocal's, but thses are even cleaner. This song is a break in the pace for the album, but not a bad one, sometimes when Im not in the mood to slow down, I will skip this track, but most of them time I listen to records from start to end, and this makes that easier to do.

Rio San Atlanta, Manitoba is another fast thrashy song, with a great intro, it is even faster than the first two tracks, the lyrics are concerned with the class war movement, lead to this being a very short powerful angry burst.

The next track is another welcome break in fast paced thrash, A public dis-service announcement from shell is just that, a recording of a shell spokesperson sometimes using shameless rhetoric, sometimes coming across as foolish, and often lying through his teeth make for this for an entertaining listen. The next track ''...and we thought that nation-states were a bad idea'' is alot like a retort to this statement, and an expression of distaste at the social imbalance that companies like shell promote. This one actually has backing vocals from The Rod for the first time on the record, railing together against workers treatment.

I was a pre-teen McCarthyist, is a good track, Chris admits to having been a proud right winger in his youth, that he wrote a patriotic song, and got to see a helicopters gatling gun. He uses this as a statement against McCarthyism, because he believes that right wing movements are childish and immature, and thier supporters should grow up the same as him. The lyrics about the realisation that the gatling gun was eventually used to kill people is striking.

''Why dont we all strap bombs to our chests, and ride our bikes to the next G7 picnic'', this song challenges violent protest, that the evolution and spreading of thier ideals should not happen violently, as a war, that the ideas should be accepted on thier own terms. The unusual analogy of the anarchist struggle with that of a hockey game (thay are Canadian after all), encouraging people to ''play the man, not the puck'' this means to challenge the status quo, not to play the status quo for personal gain.

''And yes I recognise the irony that the very system I oppose affords me the luxury of biting the hand that feeds,. But that's exactly why privaliged ***s like me should feel obliged to whine and kick and scream - until everyone has everything they need.''

This is a great intelligent retort at the end of ''Resisting Tyrannical Government'', to all those who dont feel the need to challenge the status quo, just because they are on top, at someone elses expence.

The only good facists is a very dead facist, is, in my opinion the best track on the record. The lyrics and message are much more simple, but a very important one. Racism is still experienced by people of all colours, and is believed in by people of all colours. People of all colours need to end it. It challenges white pride, that there is very little for them to be proud of, and more things for them to be ashamed of.

A peoples history of the world, is about how knowlege has been hoarded by the state powers, and the church powers. That thier selfishness has kept them in power, I find the message of this song rather disagreeable, because, although not a christian myself, I believe that you cannot blame a religion for some of the things believed by some of its 'members', this puts as much blame on the church for the current state of affairs, as it does on the real founders of right wing, non democratic capitalism. This one is sometimes a skipper because of this, but it still has a good thrashing beat, so I guess I can join the right wingers and homophbes who ignore the message in the mosh pit for this one.

The state lottery begins with a sample of a speech by Naom Chomsky, an outspoken anti capitalist socialist, whos ideals have been adopted (to some extent) recently by most American punk rock bands such as Anti Flag and NOFX. This song is a great thrashing track, and having plain speech for an intro for a song is one of my favourite things for a record to have. The music is very similay by this point, but if you liked thier thrash punk stylings at the start of the record, youll like it half an hour later.

Refusing to be a man is a great ending to this record, it basically sums up an important part of thier message, which is to ignore the gender roles imposed on you, whether you are a man or a woman. Also, it challenges the twisted views of sexuality in the west. This one is a slower more (dare I say it) pop punk track, which makes it a good end to the record.



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user ratings (180)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
tom79 (4)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Zebra
Moderator
June 15th 2006


2647 Comments


I only have How to Clean Everything and it's one of my favorite punk albums. Is this superior?
Nice work on the review.

smokersdieyounger
June 15th 2006


672 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think that this is superior, more straight forward with the politics and the sound.

Teeb
June 15th 2006


6 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love this album, but Todd didn't join the band until after it was recorded. The bass player at the time was John Samson.

Med57
Moderator
June 15th 2006


1001 Comments



I only have How to Clean Everything and it's one of my favorite punk albums. Is this superior?

If you like that, you'll like this too. I prefer How To Clean Everything, just about, but it's a very close call. They're one of my favourite punk bands overall.

Pete
June 16th 2006


189 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You HAVE TO remove the part about Todd's voice being higher than Chris', because Todd wasn't even on this album. As Teeb said, it's John Samson, now of The Weakerthans.

smokersdieyounger
June 16th 2006


672 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sorry, Ill correct that now, its just theres no information about the band in that way on the CDs liner notes.

How do I make an edit with my review?This Message Edited On 06.16.06

tom79
July 26th 2006


3376 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^Through your profile you can edit it.

This album is very good, although I like their debut better.

Digging: Wil Wagner - Laika

StrizzMatik
August 28th 2006


3206 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Very good album, but I dig on TETA and Potemkin a lot more. The lyrics are great but Prop didn't musically break out until TETA... their older albums sound a bit too much like NOFX. 4/5

Digging: Lagwagon - Hang

WillPearce
December 28th 2006


1 Comments


I think you may be taking 'I Was A Pre Teen McCarthyist' a bit too literally. It sounds more of a polemic to me, not an account of his actual childhood, I would guess, it would make sense considering the sense of humor of other Propagandhi songs.

descendents1
December 28th 2006


702 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I agree with Will. I enjoy this album because it flows well and it's a fun listen for any mood. This review is pretty good as well as it recognizes the intentions of the band.

BadBrains
January 22nd 2007


8 Comments


this review is too low ive listened to this cd Alot of times and i never get bored with any of the songs it is perfectly balanced with where the songs are placed. The messages in this cd are fantastic too. That is the reason i suppose you either hate of love this band bold as hell.

descendents1
February 5th 2007


702 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

a 3.5 is a very appropriate rating, because the album is great, and samson's vocals are what forced me to listen to the weakerthans (in moderation, too much of his voice is detrimental to your health)...this is a great cd for almost any time of the day, it's really fun, and i think the review is good

tom79
May 17th 2007


3376 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The part in the review that says Todd sings is still there, and should be removed.

Though this isn't their best, this is stil one of the best punk albums of the 90s.

Serpento
May 17th 2007


2351 Comments


Even though it's definitely the weakest Propagandhi that I've heard (I have yet to get Potemkin,) the album's listenable and polished to boot. Fat Wreck never disappoints.

jebus FX
September 27th 2007


302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

IMO this is a little better than How To Clean Everything, anyone agree?

descendents1
September 28th 2007


702 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I love this album more than any other Propagandhi album but it's just not that good as music.

p3nnywi5dom
August 25th 2008


4 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is my most listened to album by far, and it definitely got me into 'punk/prog thrash' whatever.

Awesomesauce
February 6th 2009


1084 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is a much more cohesive album than How To Clean Everything. The weakest part of this album is still John Sampson. His songs just don't seem to fit the message this band is trying to get across.

Great none the less.This Message Edited On 04.06.09

thescreechingweasel
August 20th 2009


4 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Everything just came together on this album John K samson and his indie style writing/vocals and Chris Hannah and his skate punk/metal side.There is not a bad song on this album and this band just oozes intelligence in their lyrics and the liner notes in the album

punkrockaddicted
July 10th 2010


36 Comments


In HTCL they just sound more like NOFX not because they copied NOFX, but because NOFX copied them.

That is the truth. And NOFX had previously copied from Lagwagon's album Duh.



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