steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The Visitations

"Propaganda" CD


Genres: indie pop, indie rock

Nov 29 - Dec 5 2004

The Visitations craft politically-motivated pop tunes, with the focus here being on George W. Bush and the war on Iraq.  I didn't think I'd like it, since many of these message-oriented records seem to eschew melody in favour of lyrical concepts, but The Visitations fare pretty well.  Weird Al-esque "Osama & Your SUV" and the cheery "Talkin' Hate Radio Blues" alone prove that pop and politics can be mixed; however, to claim that all of this album's songs are outright successes would be stretching the truth.

For the most part, Propaganda bases itself on simple pop hooks and witty commentary - a fine mixture, but one that can get tiresome.  A goofy romp such as this can only be pulled out and listened to once in awhile; The Visitations are fun-loving, clever folks, but their offbeat style is not one you can listen to for hours on end - only folk songs "The Good News" and "Be Not Afraid" really deviate from the band's principal cheery style.  Still, for a silly disc, this is surprisingly solid - clever jabs like "does the price at the pump pay to keep you free?" and "Heck no you ain't no bigot jack/you're just an armchair quarterback" are paired with effective melodies, so expect yourself to be singing them the next day.  If these are the types of one-liners you want to be humming near your coworkers, give Propaganda a try.


Fun Fact: Visitations main man Davey Wrathgaber was a member of the (now-extinct) Elephant 6 collective.

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 11 tracks, distributed by the band, released 2004]