Published Apr 01, 2002Keeping it visceral to the bone are Hamilton, ON's uber-professional seven-piece earthquake unit of politics and musical catharsis dubbed Warsaw Pack, a Steel City funk rock version of Marvin Gaye or Bob Marley, but with a youthfully aggressive edge. While many have abandoned the opportunity to pummel a listener with a message (rather than some fancy recording technique), the Pack are out to educate the masses, from the street level to the high-rise, always hitting hard with the mallet of truth. "It is music with a message," explains Lee Raback, the band's prolific centrepiece of verbal destruction, "in the tradition of Chuck D. or K.R.S., or more recently with bands like Rage and Dead Prez: subversive and anti-authoritarian, but we really try to be more cynical than angry. We'll talk on the oil trade, big banks and U.S. foreign policy but we'll still have a good laugh at Olympic athletes in McDonald's tracksuits. The lyrics have a dark sense of humour about them." Musically, the other six members function like movie soundtrack psychologists, leaving space for Raback to roam, gassing the listening space with an occasional cloud of chilling eeriness and hurling stellar hypnotic funk rock. Raback explains, "The sound is built on a bottom heavy groove: drum, bass and [baritone] sax. The instrumentation of the highs guitar, tenor sax/flute and turntables shapes the mood of the rumble. It is a fusion of many types of music, it's funk, rock, jazz, hip-hop, all kinds of music, but comes out the other side, darker, dirty and completely different." So think twice about going on meds or getting a student loan, Warsaw Pack are out to alert everyone that the integrity of your soul is under attack, and that its a good thing to raise your middle finger at while you be yourself.