Propagandhi Failed States

PropagandhiFailed States
Never ones to make the same album twice, Winnipeg, MB punks Propagandhi have followed up 2009's Supporting Caste with a record that sounds like an entirely different band. While that disc had a lot of controlled, smooth melodic punk on it, this one is filled with chaos ― unhinged, metallic guitar work flying off of drums that are no longer on the map, in terms of frantic playing. While opener "Note to Self" is the calm before the storm, the rest of the album is the storm in a big way no one could have predicted. "Status Update" is Propagandhi's most raging hardcore thrasher ever, while "Unscripted Moment" is their ― gulp ― tenderest song. Bassist Todd Kowalski's numbers are filled with manic hardcore energy and an off-kilter, experimental vibe ("Dark Matters" and "Cognitive Suicide" are jaw-droppingly powerful), which complement guitarist Chris Hannah's more straight-ahead, melodic hardcore/metal tunes. Much of the album harkens back to the golden age of crossover, when it's not dabbling in atmospheric, metal-tinged, forward thinking hardcore, like on closing cuts "Lotus Gait" and "Duplicate Keys Icaro (An Interim Report)." This is easily one of their best albums, which is no small feat six albums into such an illustrious career. (Epitaph)