Nuclear Blast Records
Agnostic Front does not need to get back to basics because they are the godfathers of New York Hardcore who saw the genesis of the East Coast Hardcore scene. Yet their latest album for Nuclear Blast Records gives nods to a more youthful Agnostic Front that set their feet firmly in Gotham’s landscape.
A post-Victim In Pain Agnostic Front, their sophomore release saw themselves on Combat/Relativity Records. Cause For Alarmdrew both force and controversy for the band while solidifying a stronger respect overall. Roger Miret and the crew extrapolated a hard-edged work ethic that gave inspiration to bands like Sick Of It All and New York Hardcore to thrive and grow into a distinct movement.
Nothing’s changed, and that is the best compliment I can give. Sean Taggart returns to illustrate the album cover not seen since Cause For Alarm/. His depiction of strength and unity in a chaotic social and political United States landscape is the match on the fuse that burns internally into the music.
Get Loud! is a call to action. 15 years with the Nuclear Blast family, it’s mind-blowing how fresh and inventive these guys still sound. But unfortunately the message needs repeating and possibly with a more immediate stentorian authority. It’s time to rise up against the day-to-day life suck and makes a voice for yourself. So boasts the title track to get loud and be that change. Agnostic Front may preach strength in numbers, but they also are a proponent of individuality.
Equally as important is their penchant to attack the political climate of society, something more pungent and volatile than their 1980s Victim In Pain movement..
“It’s like all the government has ever wanted is to divide the people, and then come in and conquer. I see it happening today; social media is a huge let down in that way. Now everyone has a voice, and I get it, but I can’t believe how quickly some people are willing to jump headfirst into something that doesn’t care about them” Miret explain about the song “Conquer and Divide.” “Power of expression, power of the mind, freedom of speech, live free or die, stand up and resist, gotta fight to exist, break down the walls that divide.”
“AF Stomp” is the band flexing their muscles for a good ol’ fashion romp while songs like “Anti Social” and “Snitches Get Stitches” will easily become staples. But in correlation with their documentary Godfathers of Hardcore, the song “I Remember” reverberates across time to serve as a grand homage. Victim In Pain changed me as a person; Get Loud! reminds me the importance of that change. As they go harder and deeper in perspective, the album shows that Agnostic Front are able to keep their momentum while extrapolating a message that is equally important now as it was back in the 1980s.