BERNAYS PROPAGANDA: A Forbidden Planet: CD

Two things quickly become apparent while listening to Bernays Propaganda’s disc. One: many of the songs are sung in their native Macedonian but there are also some in English. Translations are provided for both. I appreciate this because I otherwise would have never been able to figure out the title of the album. Two: they sure do love themselves some Fugazi (if only for the intricacies) and the Gossip, though they tend to lean more towards the Gossip due to the female vocals and the danceability of most of the tracks. The song writing is quite repetitive, particularly with the bass lines, but also with what I can only describe as “disco” cymbal/kick drum tomfoolery, which I’m sure has a name but I’m too lazy to find out what it’s actually called. It can get quite grating very quickly. On the surface, this appears to be dime a dozen indie rock, but there’s an underlying political message in most of the lyrics and artwork if you care to dig in a bit deeper. I can definitely appreciate the politics a lot more than I can the hipster musical qualities strewn about. Unfortunately, one obviously outweighs the other by far and not even the Crass-style photo of thumb prints superimposed over the band members’ faces can do much more to win me over.

 –Juan Espinosa (Moonlee, moonleerecords.com)