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Album Review: Victory Lap by Propagandhi

US punks Propagandhi release their seventh album Victory Lap on 29th September via Epitaph. Since forming in Manitoba in 1986, Propagandhi have brought an emphatic anti-fascist message to their music. Along with addressing a number of personal losses suffered in recent years, Victory Lap finds the band facing a landscape in which fascism is—among a certain crowd—suddenly trendy.

Victory Lap also marks Propagandhi’s first album with new guitarist Sulynn Hago, who joins Samolesky, frontman Chris Hannah, and bassist Todd Kowalski. Replacing long time guitarist David Guillas (who appears on several tracks on Victory Lap), Hago was added to the line-up after Propagandhi put out a call for audition tapes and received over 400 responses.

It’s an album that pulls no surprises, in what is the band’s first full-length since 2012’s Failed States, it captures the frenetic energy off an unapologetically political band at a time when political speech seems overwhelmingly fractured – standard Propagandhi. Let’s be honest, if you weren’t a fan of the band before this isn’t going to be the record that will convert you. If you want good honest punk rock then this is an album for you.

Title track and lead single ‘Victory Lap’ serves up the band’s signature hybrid of snarling riffs, urgent rhythms, and politically charged lyrics and sets the tone for the rest of the album. ‘Comply/Resist’ and ‘Cop Just Out of Frame’ mightn’t be as immediate but they contain all the urgency and fervent political commentary. The next standout out moment comes in the riotous punk rock of ‘When All Your Fears Collide’, full of frantic guitars and the bands take on modern life, it’s a track that you can relate to and throw caution to the side and enjoy the spikey riffs.

‘Letters To A Young Anus’ has everything you could want from a short and snappy punk track before ‘Lower Order (A Good Laugh)’ excels in its brutalist riffs and ‘Failed Imagineer’ plays as the archetypical punk rock track from the nineties / early 2000s. It’s the one small grievance about Propagandhi, at times they sound a little dated. Conversely, why change it when it works so well.

‘Call Before You Dig’ is the call to arms that modern punk needs while ‘Nigredo’ impresses musically with thunderous drumming to introduce the track before the track develops with some excellent guitar work. The riffs of ‘In Flagrante Delicto’ pummel before there’s the classic punk of ‘Tartuffle’ and the excellence of closer ‘Adventures in Zoochosis’ that feels more than the sum of its parts. A ferociously political track that sees out an excellent and timely album.

AD Rating 7/10

1 Comment on Album Review: Victory Lap by Propagandhi

  1. US Punks? Stopped reading after the first sentence.


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