Agnostic Front - The American Dream Died (Nuclear Blast)

Old New York may not be what it used to be... but Agnostic Front are as great as ever.
Release Date: 
3 Apr 2015 - 11:30pm

NYHC stalwarts Agnostic Front – what can you say that hasn’t already been said about everyone’s fave oi-fuelled wrecking crew?

A fair bit actually. For a start you might mention that The American Dream Died, their absolutely crushing eleventh studio album, is by some way the best thing they’ve done in years. Christ, give me a couple more ciders and I might even say that, for this reviewer it’s pound for pound the best thing they’ve done since 1986’s epoch-spanning Cause for Alarm… certainly when the adamantine mosh part of Test of Time is ringing out loud n’obstreporously around my palatial South London abode it seems that way.

And you might also add the guitar work here, courtesy of the ever-dependable Vinnie Stigma and six-string cohort Craig Silverman is absolutely unstoppable – riff after street-punkin’ riff, crunchy to the max, grinding when it needs to be, thrashing like a maniac at all other times, all that good stuff, axes set to stun and piled higher than the toilet rolls on sale in CostCo… whilst Roger Miret, passionate and voluble as always, puts in another hearts n’minds-winning performance, spilling his heart not only on his sleeve but all over New York’s sullied streets as he relates his tales of injustice and the unity that overcomes the shit we all face in everyday life. As ever, amidst the angst there’s a lot of uplifting messaging to absorb here. Designs for life? Rog has got ‘em, but refreshingly he always the right side of preachy in his delivery.

Best track Old New York is pure old man moaning, but the sentiment is one it’s hard to disagree with and the end result is pure classic AF, one of the best songs this band has ever put its name to. And it features a nice Travis Bickle sample to kick things off, making the song doubly splendid…

In 2015, when the word hardcore has been bent double, rogered senseless and smashed into a thousand pieces by ignoramus dullards who have no idea what the term really means, it’s a delight and a comfort to be reminded what true hardcore really sounds like. And this is a superb example of just that. Attack!