The first thing to know, if you want to know about Propagandhi, is that they came here to rock. Right from the snarling opening riff of their seventh album, Victory Lap, that much is clear. For everything else that swirls around the band now, and for the last 31 years – the politics, the people and, lately, a gnawing sense of despair – the sheer volume of it all hasn't changed.
Frontman Chris Hannah and bassist Todd Kowalski experienced a sea change in the band when after nine years with Propagandhi, guitarist David "The Beaver" Guillas left the fold for a teaching position and they added a new member, Sulynn Hago, a seasoned guitar-slinger from Tampa, Florida. That said, Guillas is still all over Victory Lap, contributing licks to four songs.
So what do you do, when you're an unapologetically political band in a time when political speech seems more fractured than it has been in years? When the darkness looms and the rapacious maws of power seem to devour more by the day? You can't stop the violence; you can't save the world. But neither can you stand to sit back, and just watch it all burn. So here's what you do: you strap up a guitar and get ready to rock.