Agnostic Front

My Life My Way

Written by: PP on 05/03/2011 04:00:41

When it comes to New York Hardcore, there are three names that matter: Madball, Sick Of It All, and the subject of this review, Agnostic Front. All pioneering bands that helped shape an entire genre and influence thousands upon thousands of bands in the decades to come with one classic album after another. It has been four years since the last Agnostic Front release "Warriors", an unusual pause for the band known to release a new album about once every two years or so, but with "My Life My Way" the band have finally reached the ten album milestone most bands can only dream of.

Now if for some reason you're not familiar with Agnostic Front and their releases, which would lead me to question whether you know anything about hardcore whatsoever, they distinguish from their two seminal brethren by a sound that's deeply rooted in Oi! and hardcore punk, instead of the metallic delivery of SOIA or the straight forward hardcore of Madball. It means the songs are simpler, mostly revolving around three chord hardcore pieces lasting between two and three minutes each, but it also means the songs are catchier because they aren't comparatively as heavy. And given the "if it's not broken don't fix it" mentality of the hardcore genre in general, it suffices to say that once you've heard one Agnostic Front album you've heard them all, which certainly applies to "My Life My Way" as well.

That doesn't have to be a bad thing necessarily, and it isn't in the case of this record. The gang-chanted pride message of the title track safely glues itself into your consciousness on first listen, and opener "City Street" is a guaranteed fist pumping anthem sure to ignite a crowd in a live environment. Though the riffs are simple, they are also tight, energetic and memorable, giving Agnostic Front songs some heavy oomph to make them stick out.

Though the topics that appear on the album are cliché hardcore about unity, pride, family, courage and that sort of thing, vocalist Roger Miret delivers them with just enough tough-guy, "I'll see you in a dark alley with a baseball bat" mafioso mentality to make them convincing and enjoyable. He has an uncanny ability to create simple chant alongs that you'll remember after the first chorus, making "My Life My Way" an extremely approachable and accessible album, case in point being the street punk anthem "Now And Forever" with its melodic gang shouts giving the song flair. Well, I won't hold you any longer, let me just finish by stating the obvious: Agnostic Front have produced yet another superb album in hardcore, one that leaves their breakdown-obsessed modern peers standing far behind in comparison when it comes to writing great songs.

8

Download: My Life My Way, Now And Forever, Self Pride
For the fans of: Blood For Blood, Madball, Sick Of It All
Listen: Myspace

Release date 04.03.2011
Nuclear Blast

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