The Weakerthans - Left and Leaving (Cover Artwork)

The Weakerthans

Left and Leaving (2000)

G7 Welcoming Committee

I remember being introduced to Propagandhi in my freshman year of high school, around the time of "Less Talk, More Rock." I loved their lyrics, but thought that their music could often be pretty much interchangeable with the rest of the Fat Wreck bands of the time. I would listen to their first two records occasionally, and on a trip to Boston, my friend picked up "Today's Empires..." and we listened to it in our hotel room. I was struck with disappointment, as it seemed like the only thing Propagandhi cared about anymore was the lyrics.

Fast forward to August 2001, when I purchased a copy of Punk Planet with John K. Sampson on the cover. I read the terrific interview in the magazine and ordered "Left and Leaving" off the internet.

This is one of the most amazing records, in my opinion, ever made. What Bob Dylan did in the late 1960's when he combined folk, rock, blues and country is what is Samson has done here with the musical styles of today. It is easy to hear the Get Up Kids in many of these songs, but also Neil Young, Hank Williams, and Bob Dylan. This record actually transcends the label of "punk rock" and moves into the realm of great music.

The main thing that makes this record so amazing is Samson's lyrics. He is probably the greatest lyricist of our time, as evidenced by the lyric sheet. If you read the lyrics without the music, they remain moving poetry, unlike some bands who seem forced to live within rhyme schemes and forced words.

I really don't believe this review does this band or this record justice. Just buy it and listen with an open mind.