Winnipeg’s Propagandhi release albums about as frequently as Haley’s comet crosses the Earth’s orbit, sending punks clamouring to their local record store like astronomers to their telescopes. Only their fifth full length in 16 years, Supporting Caste once again proves that Propagandhi believes in quality over quantity. The four-piece teamed up with legendary punk musician and producer Bill Stevenson and cut 12 tracks of hard hitting progressive punk rock, resulting in their most cohesive album to date. Deep, heavy riffs, tumbling bass lines and whirlwind beats intermingle with melody, proving these men have spent many long, cold Manitoba winters mastering their instruments. Chris Hannah’s once snotty vocals now resonate with perfect harmonies and fist raising power and purpose. His lyrics have become well-crafted, image rich poetry focusing on critical politics, personal struggles with love and loss, and in true Canadian form, hockey. The album isn’t without humour, this being most evident in the hidden track, a keyboard laden tune that mimics Canadian prog heroes, Rush.
Although the band have progressed as musicians and songwriters and matured intellectually, the most important aspect of Supporting Caste is that it still sounds like a Propagandhi album; an album that solidifies their place in Canadian punk rock infamy. Once again, Propagandhi is passing through the Earth’s orbit like a furious comet, and once again, it has been worth the wait.