Various Artists – Rock Against Harper

Friday 06th, November 2015 / 14:36
By Gareth Watkins


I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that the typical reader of a free arts and entertainment paper might not be part of the 31.9 per cent of the electorate who turned out to vote for Canada’s own Richard Nixon. You might not need convincing that somebody who clearly deeply dislikes this country shouldn’t have been able to have his boot on our collective faces for another four years, but there’s a special joy from being able to put a record on and hear that a bunch of indie, punk and hip-hop artists feel the same as you.

Rock Against Harper was masterminded by Kenna Burima, vocalist and keyboardist of The Pygmies, and her band contributes the track “Degenerate,” which, amongst more politically relevant observations, notes that Harper has really bad hair. He does. Sassy punks The Shiverettes’ two tracks, “Hey Mr. Harper” and “Stephen Harper, Suck My Dick,” are clear standouts, as is Geek Beat’s “Abuse of Power Comes As No Surprise,” the chorus of which won’t leave your head until the next election. Rapper Mr. Work’s Rage Against the Machine sampling “The Take Back” is a welcome change of pace, even if the lyrics aren’t exactly subtle. Minimum Engagement, who formed specifically for this comp, slow things down for two songs of dark, shimmering electric jazz and Hex Ray play what sounds like indie-pop falling down a flight of stairs whilst remaining compelling. The official Canadian Medal of Canadian Freedom Medal goes to The C.Js for “Sick of the Death Star,” a peppy power-pop song produced to sound like the fuzziest doom metal band ever to double up their denim.

Even though we’re in for four years of Netflix and chilling with our new national bae, dreamboat-in-chief Justin Trudeau, Harper will always be remembered as that one crazy ex who you’ll never understand why you got with in the first place, and this album will be the soundtrack to your breakup.