It's been five long years since Propagandhi last released an album. In the interim, much to no one's surprise, the world has not become a better place; thus, the return of this trio to action comes as welcome relief for those in need of a shot of political rejuvenation. During Propagandhi's hiatus, bassist/vocalist John departed, replaced by the rather more verbosely monikered Tae-Bo Todd the Rod Kowalski. But what hasn't changed is the group's attitude: They're still raging...oops, one is tempted to say anarcho-punks, a tag the band members loudly disclaim, so let's say agit-rockers. Certainly rock is a sturdy enough genre to hold the trio's predilection for slamming hardcore into speed metal, then thrashing it to death with a good old punk rock beat. And while they may not be as melodic as many of their fellow Fat bands, they aren't beyond writing a damn catchy chorus. Beyond the high-energy, fists-in-the-air music, Today's Empire, Tomorrow's Ashes delivers up vituperative lyrics on a variety of hard-hitting subjects. Like most next door neighbors, the members of the Canadian trio are well aware of America's foibles, and are more than happy to make their opinions known. Previously, however, there was enough irony and wit to the lyrics to suggest that deep down, they'd forgive us, if only we'd straighten up and stop bringing the whole block into disrepute. But it's apparent that Propagandhi are losing faith in America's ability to change, and the battle is beginning to wear the band down. There's much less humor here than in the past, the frustration is obvious, the anger rawer, and a dispiriting depression seems to be setting in. Yet hope may still conquer all, and the group has enough faith in its fans to believe that the fight is not over yet.
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AllMusic Review by Jo-Ann Greene