Agnostic Front

The American Dream Died

Written by: PP on 21/03/2015 16:38:30

Three years ago, "My Life My Way" restored Agnostic Front to the forefront of the new york hardcore scene through a revitalized and surprisingly catchy take on the age-old genre. It was proof that the pioneering hardcore warriors still had some good songs left in them despite years of criticism from the music scene at large. They're back now with their 11th studio album "The American Dream Died", and things aren't looking so bright this time around.

But first things first: the album sounds exactly like you'd expect an Agnostic Front album to sound like. Roger Miret's trademark snotty yelps appear energetic on top of the traditional down tuned hardcore riffage with the occasional step into crossover thrash (see "Test Of Time", "Police Violence" for examples). As for the content itself, cliché hardcore rhetoric flourishes all the way through from the album title down to the lyrical tid bits. The record even opens with a spoken word sample with sirens squealing in the background and with leftist propaganda spewing out along the lines of "the owners of this country know it...it's called the american dream because you have to be asleep to believe it". Aside from sociopolitical criticism though, Roger Miret has a tendency to sound like a jaded old man longing for yesteryears refusing to get with the times. The perfect example is "Old New York" and its gang shouted chorus of "the greatest city of them all, but it just don't feel the same, I miss the old New York! The tallest buildings in the world, but it just don't look the same, I miss the old New York". Sure, it's a classic New York Hardcore anthem and implies the 80s street thematics that symbolized the whole scene during its beginning, but what exactly is the point of this song other than wave your fist in the air like an angry old grandpa complaining about the youth of today? Similarly, "A Wise Man" is cringe-worthy in its cliché-riddled lyricism: "A wise man once said to me: keep your friends close, stay closer to your enemies. A wise man once said to me: keep your mouth shut, never turn on your family". Really Roger? We get it. You've been singing about keeping your family close for more than 30 years now. Are you out of inspiration or something?

Even so, "The American Dream Died" has its fair share of anthemic gang shouts that are relatively catchy and will surely work well in live environments. "Just Like Yesterday" is likely going to be one of the hardcore anthems this year at least for those more geared toward the old shool, straight up hardcore style proliferated by Agnostic Front and friends from the original New York Hardcore scene. And in the end, if it's innovation you seek, an Agnostic Front album isn't the place you should be looking for it. Still, "The American Dream Died" lacks the immediate staying power of "My Life My Way", leaving behind a fairly generic NYHC release that won't make much of an impact this year.

Download: Just Like Yesterday, Old New York, The American Dream Died, Police Violence
For the fans of: Madball, Blood For Blood, Suicidal Tendencies
Listen: Facebook

Release date 03.04.2015
Nuclear Blast

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