Band : Agnostic Front
Album/EP : Get Loud!
Label : Nuclear Blast
Location : New York City, New York
FFO : Madball, Minor Threat, Sick Of It All
When you think of hardcore music, what do you envision? Super raw sound, with a speed that can only be described as ferocious? Agnostic Front are considered the Godfathers of Hardcore for a reason. The production on this record is definitely well done. It’s got a typical hardcore framework with some chorus/verse exchanges, mixed with some gang chants and breakdowns. It’s a recipe for good hardcore. What I think stands out the most about this record is that they have not changed one bit. The lyrics and the sound is all the same. It’s what got their name huge, why change it? The only thing that changed is the way the record is mixed. Which leads me to my next point, the mix. Overall the mix is fantastic. You can hear every instrument stem very well. The guitars are gritty just like normal. But one thing I noticed, and it may have just been my headphones, is the right side of the track was like a half notch down. I also have had these headphones for a few years. So they could just be old.
So when it comes to hardcore, most of the songs sound the same in terms of structure. They are high energy tracks sure to get the blood pumping. Get Loud! Is no different. Each track is just under 3 minutes. All containing a very easy to follow structure. I feel each track is very easy for the listener to learn the lyrics and sing along with. I’m pretty positive there is no single theme. Most hardcore is full of themes like brotherhood, bullshit politics, and believing in yourself.
That’s something I think we all need more of. We all need more music that stands for something. Yes, a record that tells a story is great. Even an album that talks about the end of the world. But a record that is meant to be empowering, uplifting, and overall positive is what we need more of. That’s something Agnostic Front has always done. They took a stand for their beliefs and their family.
Personally, hardcore is not my favorite aggressive music genre. I much prefer blast beats and inaudible toilet bowl vocals. But Agnostic Front is just the change of pace I like. The aggression mixed with passion is something I cannot deny. So as for replay value, it’s definitely there. The lyrical content is definitely something i’m not used to. There are lyrics that talk about keeping your mouth shut, to hardcore being in their blood. I’m not really sure if there is a least favorite part. The first thing I noticed is how fast the songs are. I’m used to longer songs, so initially I wanted to complain about that. But then I remember hardcore gets right to the point, and takes no shit. So I really do not have a least favorite part. My favorite part is definitely the energy of the record. It’s medium-fast paced throughout the entire thing. It’s exactly what a hardcore record should be.
Compared to their last record, The American Dream Died, a couple things have changed. The first thing is the mix. You can hear the snare drum much better. The way the drums are mixed sound more like an old school punk record. Also, the biggest thing I noticed, is the theme. The American Dream Died is definitely a politically driven record. Which is also another punk/hardcore thing. The genre is pretty much against politics. In the new record, I’m sure there are a couple of political songs, but not as much as before.
Overall, its a great AF record. Definitely got me to go listen to their previous records. Between listening to them more, and watching The Godfathers of Hardcore movie, I definitely have a new respect for hardcore. Get Loud! Is for the old school AF fans. Each track has the energy of old school, while using modern production and tools to cater to new fans of hardcore and metal. Roger’s vocals are iconic and definitely sounding better. If you’re a fan of fast paced music that gives a shit about something, Get Loud! is for you.
Star Rating: 9/10
Strongest Song: Snitches Get Stitches