When it comes to Propagandhi, people are split into three distinct groups. You have those who are fucking obsessed, those who only dig their early stuff (Less Talk More Rock, How To Clean Everything), and those who don’t like Propagandhi at all and their opinion is irrelevant. I am in the obsessed category, and completely fucking loved their 2009 release of Supporting Caste and wasn’t sure if Failed States would hold up. With 15 new songs (12 if you get the regular version, but the deluxe version is totally worth it with 2 extra thrash tracks and one out-take) Propagandhi returns with their thrashiest and hardest fucking hitting album yet.
Fans if earlier works hoping for a return to the old skate punk ways or just even a flirtation with the melodies (which they gave us with The Bangers Embrace on Supporting Caste) will be disappointed. Personally, I fucking love the face-melting thrash songs that Propagandhi writes, and if you dig songs like Fuck The Border or This Is Your Life, then you’ll love at least 3/4th of this album. Songs like “Ratten Cane”, “Status Update”, and “Failed States” just straight up shred.
In between the thrash, Propagandhi experiments a bit with the darker, brooding sound of Potemkin City Limits. I wasn’t a huge fan of Potemkin (or as Jaded Punk Hulk would say, “Pokemon City Limits”), but I’m finding even these slower songs to be a bit of a grower for me. The album slows down a bit with “Unscripted Moments” and “Lotus Gait”, before closer “Duplicate Keys” (which is incredibly reminiscent of A Speculative Fiction, and easily one of my favorite songs on Failed States). Closer that is, unless you have the Deluxe version… which in that case, you are treated to “The Fucking Rich Fuck The Poor” which is THE HEAVIEST song Propagandhi has ever performed (which thanks to Seth in the comments pointed out was actually a Global Genocide cover… fuck yeah).
Easily one of my favorite albums of the year so far, it’s good to know that these Canadians still put out music that will rip off your testicles/ovaries and shove them down your throat.