Saturday, 31 March 2012

Trick Tracks: Propagandhi - Die Jugend Marschiert

Of my top listened songs on Last.FM, amongst the usual suspects of indie rock (The Hold Steady, The National) and alt-metal (Tool, deftones), lies a single punk rock track. 

Standing out like a mohawk in a sea of lank, greasy metal hair, Propagandhi's 'Die Jugend Marschiert' - alternatively titled 'America's Army' - proudly reps the part of my soul that wants all music to kick against the pricks.

It starts off rather inauspiciously, if somewhat suspiciously, with a clip of German children singing a jolly song. Unfortunately, the rapturous "Zieg Heil!" as it fades out suggests that this is no innocent school trip, but more likely something culled from a Hitler Youth propaganda film. 

So far, so controversial...

What follows is as anthemic a toll of introductory guitars as I've heard in any tune, punk or otherwise. The sheer climb and attack is such a statement of intent that one could be forgiven for expecting everything to fall flat from here on in. Happily, as these righteous Canadian firebrands forge on, the power just keeps coming.

 Lyrically, 'Die Jugend Marschiert' is creatively acerbic, delivering a military statement on nothing short of governmental control of a nation's youth. "Deep down you've always known: your children belong to us", chimes the matter of fact summary of this satirical address, with various other asides to control mechanisms and sublimated, nefarious end games. "Cut the outraged parent routine / Shut your mouth and get back in your seat" announces the speaker, stamping out any desire you may have to voice an opinion of your own. 

This song accepts no feedback, this is how it is.

Whatever your thoughts on the subject matter, Propagandhi, and this track in particular, have that key element of great punk rock; provoking a reaction through serrated guitars and sneering lyrics that refuse to cede ground. 

The initial allure lies simply in the riff, the long term replay value in the deeper topics mined by the lyrics. Whichever part I'm in the mood for, that ferocious opening never ceases to set my skin on edge.

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