Indifference (album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
TheProletariat IndifferenceLP cover.jpeg
Studio album by
The Proletariat chronology
Voodoo Economics and Other American Tragedies
Singles from Indifference
  1. "Marketplace"
    Released: 1985

Indifference is the second studio album by American punk rock band the Proletariat.

The record was named after its opening song, which was inspired by the photography of David Henry of the homeless in Boston, Massachusetts.[3][4] One of Henry's photos serves as the album's front cover.[5]

In late 1984, before Indifference was completed, lead vocalist Richard Brown and drummer Tom McKnight left the band.[3] They were replaced by Laurel Ann Bowman,[6][7] and Steve Welch,[3][4] both of whom performed on the new album's songs "Homeland" and "The Guns Are Winning".[7][8]

Roger Miller of Mission of Burma makes a guest appearance playing the piano in the track "An Uneasy Peace",[9][10] which is an updated version from that contributed to the hardcore punk compilation P.E.A.C.E.,[nb 1][10][11] released a year earlier on R Radical Records.[12]

Indifference was preceded by its lead single "Marketplace".[nb 2][13]

Production and release[edit]

Produced by Lou Giordano and Frank Michaels, Indifference was recorded in different sessions at Radiobeat Studios in Boston, mixed at White Dog Studio in Newton, Massachusetts, and mastered by George "Porky" Peckham at Porky's Mastering in London, England.[nb 3] It was released in 1985 on Homestead Records,[14] on LP[nb 4][15] and Compact Cassette.[nb 5][5] Etched onto its run-out grooves, the vinyl release features, in a mocking way, a paraphrase of the main conclusion of the 1984 Ronald Reagan's Task Force on Food Assistance report, which reads as follows: "There is no evidence of wide spread hunger in America.." (side A), "....Government report on federal assistance." (side B).[nb 6]

Critical reception[edit]

Oliver Sheppard, contributor at the online magazine Souciant, was of the view that Indifference:

"... is every bit as good as Soma Holiday, yet still sorely overlooked. A mature mix of smart songwriting and deft, accomplished instrumentation, the album hints at the early "positive punk" of UK bands like Sex Gang Children or Furyo. The influence of bands like The Dils, the Mekons, and fellow Bostonite postpunkers Mission of Burma also courses strongly through the LP’s veins ... Like Middle ClassHomeland LP, it seems an accident of geography (i.e. the band is from Boston, not London) that has resulted in the record languishing in obscurity."[1]

For his part, Ryan Foley, from The Music Museum of New England, commented:

"[In the Proletariat's second album] The sense of urgency was heightened, the threat of violence more pointed. On songs like "The Guns Are Winning" and "Homeland" the band tackled sociopolitical issues that are still relevant today..."[4]

The punk zine Suburban Voice wrote:

"... Texture and melody became an increasing part of the picture by the time [the Proletariat] had reached their second album, "Indifference", but it was without sacrificing the purity of rage."[7]

"Marketplace" 7"[edit]

TheProletariat MarketplaceSP cover.jpeg
Single by the Proletariat
from the album Indifference
B-side"Death of a Hedon" (3:29)
  • Richard Brown
  • Peter Bevilacqua
  • Frank Michaels
The Proletariat singles chronology
"Soma Holiday"

"Marketplace" is a song by the Proletariat, originally released in 1985 on Homestead Records[nb 2][17] as the lead single for the band's second studio album, Indifference,[nb 4][13] on which it is featured as the closing track. The B-side to the single, "Death of a Hedon", was not included on the album. Both songs would be re-released in 1998 as part of the band's anthology Voodoo Economics and Other American Tragedies.[nb 7][7][18][19]

The record's front cover features a photograph of a homeless man lying at the top of a stairway while he is avoided and ignored by the people passing by. The image was taken by photographer David Henry[13] at one of the entrances to the Boylston light rail station of the Boston, Massachusetts, rapid transit system.


Out of print after its original release,[5] Indifference would later resurface, in its entirety, on the band's 2-CD anthology Voodoo Economics and Other American Tragedies,[nb 7] compiled in 1998 by Taang! Records.[7][18][19]

Track listing[edit]

Music and arrangements by Peter Bevilacqua and Frank Michaels, lyrics by Richard Brown, except where noted.

Side A
1."Indifference" 2:44
2."Pride" 2:25
3."Better Man" 3:13
4."Homeland"Frank Michaels3:56
5."Columns" 2:37
6."Sins"Peter Bevilacqua2:25
7."An Uneasy Peace" (updated version) 3:25
Side B
2."Instinct" 2:49
3."Trail of Tears" 2:43
4."The Guns Are Winning"Michaels3:40
5."No Real Hope/Prelude" 2:38
6."No Real Hope" 1:54
7."Piecework" 3:34
8."Marketplace" 2:41
Total length:43:27



  1. ^ R Radical #R.R.R. 1984
  2. ^ a b Homestead #HMS 037
  3. ^ The mastering engineer, uncredited on the cover art, can be identified via the run-out groove etchings onto the original vinyl pressings, which reads as follows: "HMS-52-A2 A PORKY PRIME CUT MT.1" (side A), and "HMS-52-B2 PRM. MT.1" (side B).
  4. ^ a b Homestead #HMS 052
  5. ^ Homestead #HMS 052-C
  6. ^ "... with this possible exception [the homeless], there is no evidence that widespread undernutrition is a major health problem in the United States."
                                    – U.S. President, Task Force on Food Assistance, 1984[16]
  7. ^ a b Taang! #TAANG! 127


  1. ^ a b c Sheppard, Oliver (September 10, 2012). "Pioneers of Postpunk". Souciant. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e Sheppard, Oliver (October 5, 2016). "An interview with The Proletariat on their "Soma Holiday" reissue". Cvlt Nation. Retrieved October 9, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "The Proletariat: Biography". Official Website of the Proletariat and Churn. Archived from the original on January 23, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e Foley, Ryan. "The Proletariat". The Music Museum of New England. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c "The Proletariat: Indifference". Official Website of the Proletariat and Churn. Archived from the original on April 7, 2016.
  6. ^ "Laurel Ann Bowman" (obituary). Whittier-Porter Funeral Home. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d e Suburban Voice (ca. 2000). "The Proletariat: Voodoo Economics and Other American Tragedies (Taang! Dbl CD)" (review). Suburban Voice (43).
  8. ^ Eddy, Chuck (September 9, 1986). "The Proletariat: RIch Men Poor Men". The Village Voice XXXI (36).
  9. ^ CMJ New Music Report (August 29, 1986). Indifference, review. CMJ New Music Report (99).
  10. ^ a b c "The Proletariat"[Usurped!]. Kill from the Heart. Archived from the original[Usurped!] on May 5, 2016.
  11. ^ "Various Artists: Peace". Official Website of the Proletariat and Churn. Archived from the original on April 7, 2016.
  12. ^ "R Radical Records". MDC Punk. Retrieved March 18, 2016.
  13. ^ a b c "The Proletariat: Marketplace". Official Website of the Proletariat and Churn. Archived from the original on January 23, 2017.
  14. ^ Blush, Steven (2001). American Hardcore: A Tribal History. Second ed., 2010. Feral House. ISBN 9781932595895. p. 187.
  15. ^ "The Proletariat: Indifference LP"[Usurped!]. Kill from the Heart. Archived from the original[Usurped!] on May 31, 2016.
  16. ^ National Research Council (2006). Food Insecurity and Hunger in the United States: An Assessment of the Measure. National Academies Press. ISBN 9780309101325. pp. 24-25.
  17. ^ "The Proletariat: Marketplace 7""[Usurped!]. Kill from the Heart. Archived from the original[Usurped!] on May 31, 2016.
  18. ^ a b Anderson, Rick. "Voodoo Economics and Other American Tragedies: AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson". AllMusic. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  19. ^ a b "The Proletariat: Voodoo Economics and Other American Tragedies". Official Website of the Proletariat and Churn. Archived from the original on January 23, 2017.

Further reading[edit]


External links[edit]