Champions of anti-fascism since well before it became a pressing, 21st century crisis, long-running Canadian punk/metal outfit Propagandhi have never felt more urgent or their decades-long outspokenness more necessary than right now. Back with their first record in five years, last fall’s Victory Lap, the seminal punks hit Nashville, seemingly for the first time in years (we can’t find any record of a previous Music City outing, though in 22 years, they’ve almost certainly been here), for a show tonight, March 10 at Mercy Lounge with buzzy melodic punks Iron Chic, and Dominican Republic formed, Chicago based eclectic hardcore outfit La Armada. Come for the excellent thrash and metal influenced punk, stay for the timely political and social discourse. Tickets are still available here, and you can read on for more about the show below!
While it has, for many decades, been en vogue for punk rock bands to champion political, social, and economic causes, few remain as intelligently, firmly, and fully rooted in and committed to their convictions as Propagandhi. Formed in 1986 in Manitoba, Canada, the band cut their teeth in the emerging pop punk and skate punk scenes, spending their early years building cred and honing their sound before catching the eye of NOFX’s Fat Mike, who released their 1993 debut, How to Clean Everything, through his Fat Wreck Chords label. In the ensuing years, the band, who’ve seen some lineup changes over their run, but remain anchored by frontman Chris Hannah and drummer Jord Samolesky, have gravitated towards a more hard rock and heavy metal laced sound, and throughout the ’90s became firmly known for their outspoken stance and songs championing anti-fascisim, veganism, anarchism, and speaking out against nationalism, imperialism, sexism, racism, homophobia, organized religion, and capitalism, suggesting authors and activists and materials to help introduce fans to their activist and social justice ideals, long before the bulk of the ’90s pop punk explosion has embraced that level of substance. Though Propagandhi’s art and activism have long been intertwined, their latest effort, last year’s Victory Lap, arrived with a special sort of urgency, allowing the band to serve as something of aa conduit for the socially and politically charged landscape of today, and the movements seeking to oppose fascist and oppressive institutions. Propagandhi are, at their core, a really great punk and hard rock band with a rich and progressive discography, but, more importantly, they’re a group of outspoken artists who’ve long led the charge on issues that matter now more than ever, and for that, they deserve as much support as possible.
Formed a decade ago in Long Island, New York, Iron Chic carry on the tradition of DIY, old school, substantive pop punk, finding a sound that manages to find scene cred, anthemic and accessible broad appeal, and acclaim from the more “hip” side of discerning music press (their current label home of SideOneDummy has really developed a knack for finding bands who appeal to both punks and NPR). Pairing earnest, emotionally complex songwriting with sing-along choruses, the group, and especially their latest record You Can’t Stay Here, are a perfect example of what’s so special about the smart, dynamic, and communal new wave of punk bands who’ve received renewed attention in recent years, and though they’re distinctly different from Propagandhi, Iron Chic bring something wonderful and complimentary to the bill.
Hailing originally from the Dominican Republic, but Chicago based for a decade, La Armada fuse punk, hardcore, metal, and rhythms from their native island to forge an intense, hard-hitting, and visceral sound heavier than everyone else on the bill. Renowned for their ferocious live show, and championing ideals against classism and neo-colonialism that should resonate well with Propagandhi fans, the band have spent years amassing DIY cred. They’re gearing up to release a new full-length, Anti-Colonial Vol. 1, later this month, so expect plenty of fresh jams and plan to show up early to get the show started right.
Propagandhi, Iron Chic, and La Armada will perform tonight, March 10 at Mercy Lounge. The show is 18+, begins at 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $25.