i94bar

When both irretrievably corrupt, collaborating, billionaire owned, fat cat political parties are 100 percent 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 knee-jerk 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 pay-check 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 Mescalero's, that year. I'm old fashioned, I still love rock 'n' roll.

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.

Veglam

John Dissed is a soulful California songwriter who might remind you of Johnny Kaplan and the Lazy Stars or Jason Nesmith, but he has an edgy, consciousness-raising approach to songwriting, he demands his listeners open their eyes to see the lies right in front of them. Discovered by power-pop cult favorite and underground radio personality, Anthony Castillo of SLOW MOTORCADE fame, Mr. Dissed shares Anthony’s enthusiasm for truth telling, using podcasts and anthems to educate the masses, and music with stinging lyrics and consoling melodies. John Dissed is the kind of artist that punk generation diehards yearn for in this soldout, apathetic age, where yesterday’s rebels only care about having their egos stroked by young Green Day fans and showing off their new hats at the booksigning, or being the nostalgic expert on the panel, retelling their fight story from ’83 when they still hated the pigs, again. He is a middle finger in the Botoxed face of yuppie ex punks in this embarrassing era of self stroking consumer obsession and cable brainwashing. He has a social conscience like TV Smith, Boots Riley, Manic Street Preachers, or Steve Earle. He’s maybe more truth oriented and confrontational than some of his own former influences.

I’m a big fan of anyone who uses their voice to bravely advocate on behalf of human rights, compassion, liberty, and peace. Songs like “Vampire”, “Austerity”, and “Black Site” have the intelligence of Jello Biafra or Joe Strummer and are reminiscent of eighties pop from the MTV era, like say, the Godfathers, Midnight Oil, the Plimsouls, or Men At Work. Soccer moms will dig John’s smooth singing voice and he ought to be touring with Jacob Dylan‘s Wallflowers. His guitars will please fans of George Harrison, and Rick Springfield, while his words will stimulate people who read “The Nation” magazine and and appreciate Phil Ochs, Paul K & The Weathermen, or the Gin Blossoms. There’s plenty of descriptive, mellow, sundrenched Wilco vibes and a Costello-esque approach to waking up the drowsy, acquisition oriented masses we don’t hear enough of these days. If you love the politics of Tom Morrello or the Coup, or the catchy pop excellence of Dramarama, you’ll dig the dark, cerebral pop of John Dissed. I urge all my pals with dayjobs in public radio to add this cat to their playlists.

PunkGlobe

"America's an empire, the president's a vampire" is the unambiguous opening shot fired by L.A. singer/songwriter, John Dissed, on his long-awaited new LP, Red Flag, a lean, churning, burning collection of so-blunt-they-could-beat-you-to-death tracks that fly in the face of our crumbling modern day America, our cutout leaders and elected officials, and our own seeming consumer-numbed indifference to each mounting injustice.

In a country that now unabashedly employs a mislead, divide, conquer, rob, starve, and crush methodology against its own populace, Dissed appears like nothing less than a rock n' roll Robin Hood, laying the blame squarely where he thinks it belongs: on the doorstep of the fat cats, warmongers, race baiters, corporate shills, economy looters, double-speaking conservatives, and phony liberals who aren't just trying, but succeeding, at steering our once-mighty Land of the Free into its current sad and abysmal tailspin.

Red Flag is the kind of wake-up call we'd like to think The Boss would give to the masses, if only he weren't so shamelessly co-opted by the Democratic party himself. Born In The USA, indeed - and if Springsteen forgets what that means, Dissed most definitely does not. When he intones "who was behind the worst attack on our nation? We'll never really know without an investigation," it's every bit the chilling eye-opener thirteen years later that it was that grim morning after.

At times snarling, other times crooning, Dissed's vocals are a marked departure from his earlier releases (of which there are legion), displaying a range and passion that feel and sound distinctly upped - not unlike the stakes for all of us these days, and not just in America, but worldwide. And far from casting vague allusions and accusations, the targets of Dissed's well-aimed arrows are unmistakeable. When he sings "you spoke with such a sincerity, the world longed for you to bring, turns out you’re just an empty parody, an altogether different kind of King," he's staring down our current Dictator-In-Chief himself.

If it all sounds like a mega-downer, well, it might be if Dissed's hooks weren't so damn infectious. As it stands, Red Flag expertly walks a tricky tightrope, making us think and asking the hard questions (while not skimping on some equally hard answers), while also getting us off our asses to some bouncing rock n' roll, most closely recalling the politically-charged rap of Public Enemy at its core, but with a folk rock-on-meth presentation that, at this point, feels uniquely John Dissed.

Lyrically, Red Flag's closing track dumps us on the roadside, beat-up and disoriented and just wanting to find our way to safety and security, not unlike many of our politically and economically victimized citizens. The "blood-drenched roller coaster ride" we're promised in 'Societal Suicide' is open to the public and its line is long. Luckily, we still have conscious individuals and songwriters like John Dissed to stand up, speak up, and point us to the exit, all with a catchy song stuck in our heads.