Few bands can boast a career that spans four decades. Even fewer can claim to have remained true to their original sound. In my opinion, Agnostic Front, can – and on their twelfth studio album, Get Loud!, they prove it wholeheartedly. You don’t earn the tag “legends” for no reason…
Hardcore punk, with elements rooted in thrash metal have always been the Agnostic Front way, and from the opening track, Spray Painted Walls, that’s just exactly what we get from rhythm guitarist, Vinnie Stigma, and the New York crew.
Heavy, but anthemic. Fist pumping numbers that will have crowds shouting along to every word. Anti-Social is a fast paced track, that sees vocalist, Roger Miret, spitting rapid fire lyrics about being left alone – so, it’s easily relatable material too.
The title track is overflowing with groove. For anybody who is turned off by the term “hardcore”, do yourself a favour and take a listen to AF. Their music is loud and heavy, but extremely accessible. Check out the documentary, The Godfathers of Hardcore, while you’re at it – you will gain a whole new level of respect and appreciation for this band.
With lyrics like “politicians and all of their empty promises” and “fuck your system, we can’t relate”, it’s fairly obvious what Conquer and Divide is all about. Never a band to shy away from politics and social issues, they put it all out there.
I Remember takes a bit of a stroll down memory lane, and sees Roger Miret telling the story of meeting Stigma, and the early days of Agnostic Front. This is an awesome track, and provides a major highlight.
Dead Silence takes things in a very thrash direction, while AF Stomp is a killer instrumental. Muscular riffs provide groove and the pounding rhythms give us something to bang our heads to. Best listened to at immense volume – It’s short, but fantastic!
“Degenerates our on the streets, unsafe and riddled, no room for the weak” – Urban Decay is literally about just that. “When the shit goes down, would you stand or run away?” Miret asks. Confronting, yet still catchy. Snitches Get Stitches – self explanatory subject matter – again, masterfully put together.
Isolated is fast and furious, while In My Blood is thrash metal, with traditional hardcore choruses – “it’s in my blood!” Continuing on through Attention, it’s a short and punchy number, coming in at under two minutes, but that’s all the band needs to make their point.
Approaching the end of the album, Pull the Trigger is a huge riff beast, and those gang vocals are a great touch – one that live crowds will surely join in with at AF shows. Lastly, we have Devastated – and angry anthem, with lyrics that speak of destroying everything and everyone that gets in his way. The music is tame by comparison.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and this works fucking perfectly.