With a movie documenting their incredible career and then the release of this their sixteenth Album (if you include the live records) even when they’ve not hit the giddy heights of the early vibrant releases Agnostic Front have always stayed true to themselves and their scene and always been honest and to be fair have always had absolute stone-cold bangers on their records.
I’ll be honest I’m a massive fan of Mirets records with the disasters they were amazing and Stigma did a couple of great solo albums but as Agnostic Front was where they always excelled. The Godfathers of hardcore are back and with ‘Get Loud!’ they’ve really come out swinging, an in-yer-face record that draws on everything the band have done previously and poured it all into this.
Fourteen songs of Agnostic Front doing what Agnostic Front does, In your face Hardcore – New York style. They were never going to stray from the blueprint that’s served the band so well through the ’80s and ’90s and beyond.
A name that is synonymous with a scene Agnostic Front are getting the props far and wide, and the way they unravel ‘Get Loud!’ reflects this and soundtracks a scene that’s as good and strong as it ever was. Forget the opener for a minute seeing as it was the lead track released because I think its the weakest on offer as ‘Anti Social’ and then the title track fuckin’ nail it as far as the crossover punk-metal hybrid goes and is vibrant and exciting. “Its time to get loud!” is about right, its not four to the floor heads down rage like a bastard its measured like a boxer whos taken stock for a couple of rounds and isn’t coming out swinging but taking a measured menacing approach but hold on to your pants because ‘Conquer And Divide’ is coming out swinging. Old School, fast as fuck, windmilling, gang vocals and a pulverising riff-a-rama that takes you to the edge then the pulverising breakdown. Agnostic Front flying the middle finger raging on the system and corrupt officialdom – stand in line folks Miret and Stigma are on it!
I’m loving ‘I Remember’ its Miret telling stories of brotherhood and plenty of AF chest-bumping and high fives and Stigma on the replies – A Monster track right there worth the cost of the album and some. If I ever found myself in a situation on a subway I’d want to hear some AF in my headphones and I’d like to think what would Roger and Vinny do?
The classic AF sound is here in an abundance they don’t sound like they’re trying too hard to please people other than themselves through the entire album, and the songwriting is exceptional, That heaviness is there for sure but it isn’t overwhelming and the attitude comes across louder and more in your face. I’m enjoying this album more than the last few albums over maybe a decade or more and I know its early on but even the first play this was screaming at me to turn it up and I found myself hitting repeat which I didn’t do on the last two albums for sure. As the album unfolds songs like ‘Urban Decay’ are on fire and their sub-two minutes is vibrant and marry that with some exceptional depths like those bass runs underlying the brutality of the song is excellent. But hold on because ‘Snitches Get Stitches’ is breathtaking I’m going to gather the kids around so we can Slamdance and have a circle pit in the front room #safespace and I can be the king of the pit without getting rolled.
Putting this up against the bands back catalogue says that this is a band still on the crest of a wave and riding high. Agnostic Front has made a record in 2019 that is everything as good as any record in their entire catalogue – bold words you might say. We might live in very different times from when they blew up in a scene on the lower east side in many ways things are better but globally it might be shittier times more dangerous times and the world needs bands like Agnostic Front pushing the boundaries asking questions and showing that brotherhood means something and is worth fighting for, there are thirty-five years poured into this record – thirty-five years of experiences – thirty-five years of owning a scene and often carrying it on their shoulders like a giant amongst other giants. Agnostic Front Get Loud! is a triumph and any band young (or old) looking to put out a hardcore album needs to hear this because this is how it’s done properly. Never accuse them of giving less than 100% simply because they don’t just Buy It!
Buy ‘Get Loud’ Here
Buy ‘The Godfathers Of Hardcore’ Here
Author: Dom Daley