They don't skate. They don't have overtly repulsive haircuts or piercings. And they're from Canada. Yet Propaghandi have become one of the world's most visible and uncompromisingly political punk rock bands, balancing precariously between accessibility and activism. It's tough—so tough that it might explain why it takes them, say, five years between albums, a take-a-deep-breath period longer than most punk careers. It's also a mantle they only reluctantly accept, though they've managed to claw out a little place in the hearts of committed peace-punk vegans and baggy-shorted Warped Tour kids alike. And though they've tried in vain for years to commit commercial suicide—or so they claim—they just can't help getting better.
Their newest record, Today's Empires, Tomorrow's Ashes, sloughs off the poppy ornamentation of albums past and goes straight for the complacent, bourgeois jugular —cogently and viciously attacking injustice, hypocrisy and greed everywhere from the loftiest corporate boardrooms to the dirtiest punk rock subscenes. And it comes complete with recommended reading, a list of helpful websites and, if you're privileged enough to have a computer attached to your CD player, a selection of video documentaries on the COINTELPRO plot and the harsher aspects of US foreign policy. They're a band that you don't just listen to but think about and maybe even talk about—even if they do have boring haircuts.
Propaghandi performs with J Church, Avail and Fabulous Disaster at the Glass House, 200 W. 2nd St., Pomona, (909) 629-0377. Sun., 7 p.m. $9.99. All ages.