(Review by Free)
When both irretrievably corrupt, collaborating, billionaire owned, fat cat political parties are 100% complicit in knowingly propping up completely fabricated, mythological stories to manufacture consent for a babies in cages prison state and permanent lies for imperialist wars for the insatiable profits of the one percent, hungry ghost, demonic extortionists at the top, it is absolutely essential that we, the people, educate our peers and organize authentic resistance, and become the new media.
If you think you might appreciate an album’s worth of simple, Nick Gilder style, solid gold pop hooks galore spiked with revolutionary truth telling and courageous common sense, you will probably really thoroughly enjoy this important LP! John Dissed is a modern day Billy Bragg or Joe Strummer and “American University” is his ambitious D.I.Y. tour de force concept album, a pleasing throwback to the days of the Adverts, Lords Of the New Church, and Wanderers with a cinematic Pink Floyd ambience. John Dissed is a cool as fuck Jimmy Dore/Lee Camp/Caitlin Johnstone style, truth-telling punk activist, he’s ready to testify-he has thoughtfully and painstakingly researched the Kennedy assassination cover-up and written all these catchy, memorable, melodic pop tunes like a garage land, low budget Oliver Stone from the long lost underground, before media-monoliths took over every platform, replacing truth and soul with lifestyle programming and cash-grab garbage-pop.
You can tell he learned a thing or two from SLOW MOTORCADE and the poppier side of THE CLASH. And Bill Hicks, too! It’s really instantly enjoyable and thought provoking stuff. “Masters of deception…indoctrination”, he spells it all out neatly, for the kids. It’s important to keep repeating the hard truth, amidst the juggernaut browbeating and lies we’re abused by on the brainwash gadgets, in these fictitious Karl Rove times, when there is no mention of Building Number Seven at the Ground Zero museum, when leakers and civil rights activists are found dead, and cold war paranoia and McCarthyist scapegoating becomes the kneejerk response to any inconvenient truth, when murderous, unremorseful, smirking war criminals and liars are image-rehabilitated as grandfatherly by Ellen and and sleekly rebranded by friendly to fascists, Jimmy Fallon into lovable, aw shucks, “we tortured some folks”, candy sharin’, back porch Country Time sippers.
We are bombarded with empty diversions, needless divisions, and false dichotomies all day, relentless, balls-out, propaganda is peddled to us by millionaire tv spokes models we came to trust, because they started off so nice and liberal, and tv gave us a false sense of continuity and familiarity with these famous faces, who then all took the big paycheck to become hawks for war and cover-story shills for the oligarchy. When there’s so much sickening bullshit misinformation and advertising world manipulation happening around the clock, it’s so invigorating to hear something that rings so pure, simple, timeless and true as the songs on “American University”, a pocket freedom school of facts and inspiration.
As Iggy Pop says, most of today’s music “sounds like dead ham”, so one real song becomes a treasure. I’m so bone tired of fix-is-in, textbook whitewashings, false flags, red herrings, shell games, con-men, bad music, and forever war photo-shopping, I know I’ll cherish this dude’s shining document for years to come. If you ever saw “Dial V For Vendetta” or even “The Matrix”, you might have noticed some similarities to the fascist shit-show we are enduring, from all sides, nowadays.
We are in an abusive relationship with our corporate media and predator-capitalist, war-addicted government, and it is not our fault. The elections are fixed, corporate media is all fake as fuck, both parties are building more walls and jails and eagerly long to overthrow more nations and steal their stuff, candidates who deviate in any faint way from the death machine’s preferred script are excluded from debates, silenced by rigged algorithms, or slandered as Russian meme-makers. Have you ever even heard of Mike Gravel? But you know all about “Mayor Pete”. Our dissident, watchdog journalists are jailed, banished, exiled, or worse. Remember Berta Caceres, Sandra Bland, Seth Rich, Dr. David Kelly, and Michael Hastings. Voice actors cleverly and convincingly kinda help carry along the story arc, in between these great tunes. If corporate puke Warped Fest bands like Green Day and NOFX had ever been even half this soulful or intelligent, I would have joined in when all you guys were giving ’em the big, giddy, Hot Topic, sing-along, green-light thumbs-up, unison okey-doke to their blue haired, Doc Martin booger-punk in the Cinnabon devouring, post-grunge, 90’s “Jackass” tv show, energy drink era, but I was probably listening to Ian Hunters‘ “Rant”, or the Mescaleros, that year. I’m old fashioned, I still love rocknroll. I think Tim Yo from the underground punk bible MRR would have loved this John Dissed disc! I personally love the guitar playing, the vocals, the whole upbeat power pop vibe and uphill righteous struggle of trying to open people’s eyes. This CD is an exemplary, righteously charged, genuine contribution and irrefutable proof that even one lone patsy, heartfelt songwriter screamin’ into the corporate static and hurricane force of Russiagate winds and official “Muslims with box cutters are coming for your freedom fries” hysteria, can still strike at least a tiny, meaningful and powerfully valid, blow against the evil deceptions of the Dick Cheney empire. Not since Manic Street Preachers or Hello Disaster have I heard anyone brave enough to actually try to invest their music with this much literate truth, intelligence, and good hearted, plain out, rebellious guts. Also check out his previous record, “Red Flag”. What punk rock is all about.