You can’t accuse Winnipeg punks Propagandhi of complacency. Ten years into its career, the band stormed the States in the mid-1990s with a hummable blend of Fat Wreck Chords-flavored pop punk and fiercely leftist politics, urging oblivious suburbanites to up their awareness via incendiary lyrics, undeniable hooks, and Noam Chomsky quotes. The band has gradually shed its skate-punk tendencies over the past decade, opting instead for a more aggressive thrash-metal sound, but has retained the fervor that made its earlier records—1996’s Less Talk, More Rock in particular—so essential. On the title track of its recently released album Failed States, the band finds itself addressing familiar struggles: “29 years in human history: the total duration of time without war. What the fuck am I acting so surprised for?” sneers singer Chris Hannah with a sense of anger and resignation. After 25 years, such problems may no longer be surprising, but at least Propagandhi never stopped asking questions.
Propagandhi plays with Off With Their Heads and The Menzingers at 8 p.m. at Rock & Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. $18–$20. (202) 388-7625. rockandrollhoteldc.com.