The Proletariat – Move (Radiobeat Records)


First full length release from the unique Boston quartet since 1985’s ‘Indifference’ and it’s quite simply a master class in how to reform a band after a 30 year hiatus. Expect the off kilter, staccato guitar/bass lines, drum patterns and idiosyncratic vocal delivery as their 80s releases, but with an urgency and potency missing from bands half their age. From their inclusion on the ‘This Is Boston Not LA’ compilation, TP have always been a difficult band to pigeonhole, but if you’re in need of comparisons then Gang of Four/Wire are probably the most pertinent;  there’s a touch Future of the Left on opening track Incarceration Incentive’ in which vocalist Richard Brown highlights the exploitation of the prison system as a means of generating cash for private business, while there’s a passing nod to ‘Give Thanks’ era Articles of Faith on ‘Indian Removal Act’.

Lyrically Brown returns to his astute observations of ongoing class struggle/working class polemics (‘Scab’ being a perfect example) and racism (‘The Murder of Alton Sterling’ – originally released as a 7” single on Bridge Nine records last year),  but unlike many of their Hardcore/Punk contemporaries Brown is able to diversify from predictable and ‘safe’ subjects to cover a wide range of topics (see the aforementioned ‘Indian Removal Act’ which broaches the blatant theft of Native American land and Incarceration Incentive’). It’s a rare thing these days to find an album of 14 songs in which every track holds your attention, but on ‘Move’ The Proletariat have managed it without breaking a sweat. It’s worth picking up for the title track alone… a slinking, snaking, slice of classic 80s US Hardcore. Although it runs contrary to the bands anti-consumerist stance (as evidenced on the restrained mid paced album closer ‘Consumption’), I thoroughly encourage you to go out and buy this album.  An exceptional release from an exceptional band. Ian Pickens

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