I’ve gotta admit I didn’t quite know what to expect from these fiercely political punkers’ 3rd album. Their last 2 albums, ‘93’s How To Clean Everything and ‘96’s Less Talk More Rock were kinda hard to digest, so riddled with anti-governent, anti-religious –hey, anti-everything essays & quotes they were!
OK, so they admit now that back then they were kinda ramming these views down people’s throats. But what’s so different about ‘Today’s Empires…’, the title itself a quote from Mumia Abu-Jamal? Well, there’s no essays this time but every song riles against the government, capitalist society, globalisation and while I agree with a lot of the ideas that are being expressed some are just slightly misunderstood, generalised and possibly a little personal.
Thing is, as much as they criticise & resist just about anyone with money & power they don’t seem to offer much of a solution besides repeating the quote ‘Knowledge is power, arm yourself’. OK, so let’s say I’ve listened to the album & read the inlay sleeve. I know what makes the government tick, I know how unjust most major corporate entities are, I know what really controls our minds & how we think and I understand how unjust Propaghandi think killing animals is. I’ve even logged onto a few of the websites recommended at the back. I’ve armed myself with knowledge so what now? You can’t tell me democracy exists in the western world. This is something I, and a few other people I know, are a little confused by.
However, there is music on this CD as well. Darn good music in fact. It’s fast, heavy punk which touches on thrashy metal in songs like ‘Ordinary People…’ It’s basically fast, driving, well-played punk that’s poles apart musically & lyrically from bands like The Ataris & Gameface. The inauguration of new vocalist/bassist Tae-Bo Todd the Rod Kowalski has also added certain strength to the music that lacked on previous releases.
In the picture of the band, they’re laughing. What about? There’s nothing positive about this CD at all, telling you how every area of modern society is so messed up. You may argue that they're exposing the 'truth' but they seem to be criticising everything. If you want a CD to sit down & get seriously anarcho to then get this. If the mere mention of this makes you cringe then buy some Less Than Jake or Save Ferris.
6Mat Hocking's Score