Posts Tagged ‘hardcore

30
Apr
08

Agnostic Front “Victim In Pain”

By the time this record came out in 1984 I had rejected hardcore completely, as well as most types of current music other than what I was playing myself. I was aware of this band, but never gave them a chance, because by this time I thought it was all over, and hardcore punk was pretty much music for frat houses and sweaty weightlifter guys. So I listened to this record, now,  expecting to cringe, and I was surprised at how much I like it. On a technical level, it strikes me as a pretty great example of this type of music from this time period. It’s lean, energetic, and, of course, angry, but also really pleasing musically, with compelling songs and playing. I mean you hear the inspiration, and a certain joy of making music. They do a lot of that usual hardcore thing, extremely fast tempo that then shifts into a slower, more human scale, compelling tempo. It’s like the hardcore song “hook.” It might be overused, but it works extremely well. Really, a lot of this record reminds me of punk rock when I really liked it, early Black Flag, and Minor Threat, and bands from Ohio that I really liked. I’d say it was nostalgia, though I didn’t think I was nostalgic about hardcore. But listening to this kind of transports me to a bar in the Cleveland Flats, it’s a sweaty summer night, and I’m drinking a bottle of Night Train, and generally things feel pretty edgy but good.

There’s a nice black and white live show photo on the inside of the album cover (which opens, and contains the lyrics). They’re young, have shaved heads, and lots of tattoos, but look like nice guys. I looked them up on the internet, and they’re still together, and still playing, like a lot of bands are, which always surprises me, because I can’t even imagine still being in a band that I was in that many years ago. Or maybe I can. Their website and MySpace page has pictures of them, older of course, more tattoos, and it looks like they’ve gone through a lot of band members over the years, but they’re still doing what they believe in, which is inspiring enough. The art on these sites makes it look like it’s an ad for a video game with lots of weaponry and blood imagery, but this might be mostly due to promoting their newest record, called “Warriors.” But, I mean, when your band is together for over 25 years, imagine the spectrum of fans you must have. You could literally have three generations attending an all-ages show!




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