Punk rock doesn’t necessarily have to be overtly political, although most would argue against that, and others would claim that everything is political, but there is something about punk in itself that is supposed to challenge, and if that is accepted then why not challenge everything, absolutely bloody everything, and on Dangerous Minds that is exactly what The Media Whores are doing.
The emotive environmental issue that is fracking is tackled on Frack Off, what is important and not, linked with censorship/media control, is dismantled on ‘Can’t Say Whore On the Radio’, damaging social pressures on how to look are given a KO blow on ‘Skinny’, and the totalitarian abuse of those considered of a lower class in ‘Do You think I am Lying’ is the musical version of a Ken Loach film delivered in under four minutes, and these tracks are just some of the highlights on an album that is full of career defining benchmarks for the band
But, and this is an important but, the normal template for punk albums that are working as some sort of social commentary is usually of the one dimensional anti authoritarian type, and this release very clearly avoids being that.
The Media Whores simply do not have any truck with a couple of chords and a repetitive message which starts with ‘fuck the, and then you can add what you wish as applicable; the police are always a good one apparently, but it is interchangeable with pretty much any of the other obvious options such as government and THE MAN.
In short the Media Whores are the polar opposite of that sort of punk.
The sort that can often springs to mind barely bidden when the words politics and punk band are paired.
So if that style of punk turns you off then don’t turn off the Media Whores.
Because they are in fact a very different proposal indeed, worldly wise as befitting their age, altruistic, but not naïve, intelligent, and lucid in their approach to each and every issue that they target.
If on one side of the spectrum is a social media meme with a one line slogan on it, and on the other is a tome by Noam Chomsky then the band are naturally sitting closer to Chomsky than any throwaway meme.
And let’s not forget that as a four piece they are all musicians at the top of their game too.
This is pretty much the full package deal for the discerning punk, but it also has the capacity to be listened to as a solid protest album, and those who gravitate towards Dylan and Guthrie would most definitely find enough to get their teeth into on the days when they are looking for something with a bit more meat to it that will reflect the feeling that the time has come for not just singing ‘we shall not be moved’, but rather a song about taking the fight to the minority that are literally oppressing us all.
Let us just say that this is an album that is giving no quarter to the 1%ers, and that it doesn’t let the oligarchs, or the bankers, or the politicians who wear a price tag and multinationals who will happily pay their price, off the hook.
It’s an album that speaks to people and one that if listened to will resonate with them.
And we do need artists speaking out in this manner, now more than ever, with passion, and with the ability to convey that passion in their art.
They may not be the only voice offering intelligent opposition just now, but they are one of the most melodic.
So let’s sing the songs with them, shake our fists in the air and do the revolution dance with them, as the time is now to denounce the Dangerous Minds.