Sound — 9
Propagandhi is a hardcore/punk band from Manitoba (Canada). As with most Canadian bands, they aren't as well know in the U.S. As they are north of the border, but they have had a decent amount of commercial success recently. After a rather bland and disappointing effort with "Potemkin City Limits" I was very anxious to hear "Supporting Caste". Where their 2005 release had been repetitive and generic, "Supporting Caste" is much more linear and features more complex and diverse tracks. There is much more variety in terms of song structure and guitar tone. The writing on this record was very good overall and Propagandhi manages to pull of their trademark blend of melody, heaviness, and complexity. The guitar playing on this album was far superior to any of their earlier releases. They once again display their excellent technical and song-writing skill.
Lyrics — 10
Propagandhi are well known for their insightful, politically-charged lyrics and this album certainly does not disappoint. From a direct shot at Don Cherry and Ron McClain in "Dear Coach's Corner" to vegetarianism in "Human(e) Meat (The Flensing Of Sandor Katz), this album tackles a variety of issues with witty, well-informed lyrics. The liner notes are packed with recommended reading, viewing and methods of activism and the aggression and passion of the lyrics infuse perfectly with the hardcore riffs and overall sound of the band. Lead vocalist Chris Hannah's voice is especially strong on this album as he manages to pull away from some of the redundant melodies heard on "Potemkin City Limits".
Overall Impression — 10
This is my favourite release of 2009 right now (although it's only May and there are some good releases coming up). It is easily Propagandhi's strongest release to date. The upcoming tour promises to be nothing short of epic (can't wait for the T.O. Show!) as they are set to tour across North America this summer. The best song on the album would probably be "Dear Coach's Corner", "Night Letters" and "Funeral Procession". My single complaint with this album would be the irritating cliche "hidden track" at the end of the album. Other than that minor inconvenience, this album is entertaining, thought-provoking, and overall hardcore from beginning to end. If I were you I would go and buy it. Right now. None of that iTunes bull**** either, go and buy a hard copy, it's more than worth it.