Unless you’ve been living under a massive boulder and have subsequently forgone reading the internet, the newspaper, billboards, or talking to any other human then you are probably well aware that the geopolitics of the majority of the globe has recently made a sharp swing right. The current iteration of this governmental model uses tenants of past right-authoritarian regimes such as palingenesis, corporatism, and overt racism but adds in a futuristic brew of monopolies who have so much power they could instantly crash the economy, the financialization of every corner of the market, a complete abandonment of labor protections, and a sudden influx of the suburban populace wanting to raze every ghetto in the first world to install a boutique ice cream parlor so they can feel hip and urban. Historically desperate times have always brought with them the art and music that reflects that will for things to change and we knew we’d see it in our corner of music fandom at some point, although I honestly thought we’d have seen a lot more by now. Maybe most of the true radicals are more busy with the defense logistics than music right now, because we’ve had no shortage of regurgitated cover bands in that same amount of time.
However, as if by some divine providence, we have The Guests from Philadelphia, a town that has not only been cranking out gems for decades but has often been the center of street-level political turmoil. Sharing two members with ripping rock’n’rollers Sheer Mag, they don’t fall short of the associative expectations albeit the final product is markedly different musically. Melodically reminiscent of the syrupy British new wave of The Chameleons or Sad Lovers & Giants, the delivery of the undisguised lyrics go down smooth as hell. The Guests know that only the most pretentious punks and metal heads can deny the digestibility of mid-tempo post-punk jams so they utilize it to distribute their message of anti-imperialism, anti-capitalism, anti-fascist, pro-collectivism, pro-autonomy, and pro-liberation politics.
Being that the members aren’t cloistered academics or out-of-touch baby boomers, their views are incredibly contemporaneous with lyrics like “Let’s face some simple facts, the right has got no rhythm,” set to an Ultravox-like funk jam. In fact, they make their politics fairly approachable to anyone of cognizance and wrap the listener in to an unfailing yet danceable battle cry for the victory of the people over profit. Police brutality, the emptiness of pursuing wealth, the pillars of American values being steeped in a myriad of complex oppressive structures that cannot be voted out, it’s all there like a feast for a lefty punk let alone a presentation-in-waiting for someone politically curious about radicalism that simply hasn’t had the connections or experienced the motivation to pursue a deeper understanding of the world around them in such a way.
The Guests know you like easy music. Shit, a lot of you still listen to The Smiths every other day despite Morissey’s countless misdeeds. So they inject theirs with propaganda that sticks to the wall and has acute relevance to the times we are living in. They’ve been a band for four years now and are ready to spread their wings as a stalwart of political new wave, something sorely needed in this genre, with the ‘Popular Music’ LP just released on Sabotage Records. Preview it below and exercise your multitasking abilities of processing politics and dancing your ass off.