On most albums, even other Propagandhi releases, there is at least one track which I find myself skipping time after time. Bands just can't help themselves. They just HAVE to bulk out their releases with sub-standard songs... And this is no exception. Why oh why was 'a public dis-service announcement from shell' included (smack bang in the middle of the album no less)? Fine, it's interesting, it makes a valid point, and it's humerous, but it ruins the flow of the album. This is the reason i bought a cd burner, so i could remove annoying tracks from otherwise BRILLIANT albums.
Okay, now i'm done complaining about that one little thing: onto the review proper...
"...And We thought Nation States Were a Bad Idea." is the song that introduced me to this insanely talented band. I liked it for years before i actually got this album, and as such it was the song around which the album grew on me. Like every single Propagandhi album, it's hard to get into. I'd reccommend a few days in your stereo on repeat before you pass judgement on it. Trust me, it grows on you.
The guy working in the record store who sold this to me was so excited when he was processing my purchase. He kept gushing on about how good they were, how good fast punk is. I guess you go a bit crazy selling people pop albums all day. The point is: if you like these guys, you LIKE them. If you like Propagandhi you probably already own this, and are probably only reading this to see what other people have to say about them.
I'm writing this for you, sure, but i'm mainly writing this for people who are wondering if they should buy this album.
The answer is yes.
If you like punk, you'll love this. It's that simple. It may take time to work its way into your brain, but it'll happen, and you'll never be the same. You'll look back on the day you decided to take the plunge and thank whoever-it-is-that-you-thank that you did.
Now, the album itself. Except for the afformentioned 'a public dis-service announcement from shell', and 'the only good fascist is a very dead fascist', the album is a keeper. It'll never get old. Every track has a statement in it. The lyrics are amazing, and i'll never get over their ability to fit such detailed sentences into their songs.
The lyrics sheet is amazing also. You not only get insightful lyrics, but you also get mini-essays on many of the issues the band feels strongly about. This is a pre-cursor to the enchanced portion of their next release (today's empires...), and a very welcome addition.
Some songs which deserve special attention:
'The State Lottery', which sounds great, and (of course) has superb lyrics.
'Meat is Still Murder', which, at the beginning, is fast punk at it's best (though not as good as Back To The Motor League), and even if you aren't a vegan, still packs a punch lyric-wise.
The best lyrics of the album can be found in 'Less Talk, More Rock', which is good because it makes up for the slowness of the song.
For those of you into pop-punk, Propagandhi even cater for you here! 'Gifts', probably the trendiest song on the album, is still good, but as i say, it sounds poppy.
Finally, 'I was a Pre-Teen McCarthyist'. It has to be my choice as best song on the album. Not too fast, which allows you to hear the lyrics, and really shows off both the guitar playing and the singing.
Overall, it's a great album, and I would say their best to date (which makes it one of the best albums ever in my opinion). It's let down by some tracks which just don't belong, but the rest of it is so good it makes up for it and scores a perfect 10.