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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Agnostic Front: The American Dream Died


1) Intro; 2) The American Dream Died; 3) Police Violence; 4) Only In America; 5) Test Of Time; 6) We Walk The Line; 7) Never Walk Alone; 8) Enough Is Enough; 9) I Can't Relate; 10) Old New York; 11) Social Justice; 12) Reasonable Doubt; 13) No War Fuck You; 14) Attack!; 15) A Wise Man; 16) Just Like Yesterday.

Yes, in case you weren't aware, the American dream just died, but you probably wouldn't believe this anyway unless you were told about this by someone who sounds exactly like a 300-pound Neanderthal who just sat down with his bare ass on a hornets nest. In other words, yes, ten years after the fact, Roger Miret still shows no signs of getting weary from his Another Voice — may­be the idea is that in a few decades we will finally get used to it, and once that happens, Agnostic Front will finally get a chance to rule the world. All you have to do is be tenacious.

I do respect that attitude, but I think that I respect the idea of keeping it short (this record barely goes over 27 minutes) even more. If I understand this right, the album once again moves away from metal and towards the good old hardcore — not just because of the song lengths (several of these are well under one minute in duration), but also due to another lineup shift, with Craig Sil­verman replacing Joseph James on second guitar and the music embracing «noise» and «grind» over relatively complex metal riffs or solos. What with all the nostalgia and everything,  they may think they are channelling the spirit of Victim In Pain here. But not with that «gorilla in heat» voice they aren't, never in a million years.

As usual, there are no problems with the overall energy level or the conviction with which the testosteronic riffs and the anti-establishment lyrics are delivered. Just as usual, there is nothing whatsoever worth discussing in the melody department, and the «gimmicks» this time around con­sist of a two-minute intro with police sirens and news flashes on the crimes of and ruptures within the evil capitalist system, and of a brief quotation from Taxi Driver at the beginning of ʽOld New Yorkʼ, in which Miret complains about "the Bowery slums turned into fashion bou­tiques" and the lack of drug dealers and freaks on the street. Uh... okay. I'm not sure I really want to comment on that particular attitude.

Other than this brief piece of information, all you really need to do is to look closely at the song titles — then understand for yourself whether you may or may not need this in your life (depen­ding, among other things, on whether you have «occupation of Wall Street» coming up on your calendar any time soon). The best I can do is not give the album a thumbs down — because, somehow, I am marginally impressed at how those old punkers seem to draw even more energy out of their frustration at growing old (and irrelevant) than they used to. I mean, the music is shit in any case, but as they get older, they learn to fling it with increased force and accuracy, even if nobody seems to care any more. Besides, it's not as if a whole lot of young artists these days cared much singing about social problems — so, perhaps, there is still some niche space left for the good old hardcore warriors.

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