Pro­Pa­gandhi

Cri­sis alert / death Moun­tain

Blunt - - Live! -

Man­ning Bar, Syd­ney 06/06/2014

open­ing acts, if cor­rectly booked, will have things in com­mon with the head­lin­ers. Death Moun­tain kept the fans of Pro­pa­gandhi’s un­usual song struc­tures and ec­cen­tric gui­tar phras­ings happy. The three-piece mashed a sense of in­die melody you might hear in cer­tain old Rev­e­la­tion Records emo acts (e.g. Far­side) with fid­dly gui­tars, sen­si­tive, moan­ing vo­cals and awk­wardly con­structed mea­sures.

Cri­sis Alert were about one thing: speed. We couldn’t quib­ble with com­par­isons to SS De­con­trol or other ’80s east coast hard­core acts. Nearly ev­ery song was spot-on iden­ti­cal, as is the case with such flat-out, mono­tone hard­core. Their ag­gres­sion and the tidi­ness of their per­for­mance was nearimpec­ca­ble, and vo­cal­ist “Footy” can bark with the best of them, but – like your stupid par­ents will have told you – it all sounded a bit like the one song played over and over again…

Af­ter a mes­sage from refugee ad­vo­cates RISE, Pro­pa­gandhi opened with “Dear Coach’s Cor­ner”. There were pauses be­tween songs for Chris Han­nah to re­mind the Man­ning Bar he doesn’t much like Tony Ab­bott or transna­tional com­pa­nies (it’d be weird if he didn’t, we sup­pose) or re­call em­bar­rass­ing sto­ries, such as one about a band mem­ber hav­ing to karate chop a log of his own fae­ces.

Han­nah’s com­mand of his axe through fid­dly pas­sages like those in “Cog­ni­tive Sui­cide” was com­plete. His band were sim­i­larly mu­si­cally nim­ble, though – with the ex­cep­tion of Todd Kowal­ski – they do not move around the stage an ex­cep­tional amount.

The band fo­cused on ma­te­rial writ­ten since Kowal­ski joined the band. Old farts, such as those who saw the band play at this same venue in ’97, were kept happy with a nos­tal­giaori­ented encore.

The head­lin­ers man­aged to seam­lessly fuse com­plex­ity and speed, as well as a sense of pur­pose and a warped sense of hu­mour. The line, “A sum of our parts, and I’ve never laughed harder” from two-decades-old clos­ing num­ber “Anti-Man­i­festo” still summed things up.

death Moun­tain

Cri­sis alert

Pro­Pa­gandhi

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