Album review by firstname.lastname@example.org
Moonlee Records are doing a great job of bringing us music from the Balkan countries, not much of which usually filters through to British or American press, so props to them. Judging by what we've heard from their label so far, there's a thriving punk scene around that area, perhaps not surprising considering that tensions are still running high following the dissolution of Yugoslavia two decades ago. Macedonia's Bernays Propaganda are one of the country's more successful acts and have even had moderate success abroad. This is perhaps not surprising given that they split their songs between English and their native tongue.
Musically their sound is more universal too, flitting between punk and various forms of rock in a more accessible manner than some others, but that's not to say they're lacking bite in any way. 'Zabraneta planeta' is their third album and is post-punk at heart, but sits at the harder edge of the genre, with those crunching guitars and heavily beaten drums being softened slightly by the female vocals. They're willfully non-commercial, but if you like your guitars loud and your music to be full of ragged vitality then Bernays Propaganda could just be an exciting new discovery for you, should you have missed out on their battering, primal rock thus far.
The rumbling bass of 'Pogrešno' works particularly well, and you need to be a tight unit to play songs such as 'Makedonski son'. If you're fussed about having lyrics in English then we can say that 'A Bone to the Dog' and 'Ordinary Toy' could both be described as album highlights. The mystery of not understanding the meanings of the songs can be part of the attraction though, essentially making the voice another instrument as opposed to a message carrier. Coupled with some decent guitar lines, this means songs like 'Bar kultura' and 'Čuvaj se od tie što te čuvaat' are all the more intriguing. The title-track is also worth a mention and the final post-punk epic of 'Leb i igri' shows that passion in music is alive and well in southern Europe.
Bernays Propaganda's website
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