American Standards And Their ‘Anti Melody’.

American Standards – Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

Punk-Rock has always served and will likely always serve as some form of catharsis and the latest album from Phoenix, Arizona Hardcore/Noise/Punk-Rock four-piece is very strongly inline with this “rule”. Rage and anger, loss and heartache, political strife or social tension you name it, a Punk-Rock song has been written in lieu of such.

Anti-Melody is a multi-pronged product of such, it’s an album that initially began as such a strong social commentary but due to the ill-fated aspects of this life we inhabit, it slowly became a coping mechanism for a band who very unfortunately felt true loss. Ergo, Anti-Melody is heavy in more than one way.

From the intoxicating disgusting hypocrisy of society via ‘Writers Block Party’ and its chaotic Noise/Hardcore/Post-Hardcore Punk rage to the failure of compromise via beliefs you feel will keep you on the “good” side of the fence in ‘Carpe Diem, Tomorrow’, this record is needlessly aggressive in the most needed way. – ‘Concrete minds, they never change’.

The main issue with albums similar to this is the common discrepancy between how heavy and weighted the lyrical content is compared to its instrumental companion. Anti-Melody however very much catches all the varied fish it is after. The band capture the Hardcore Punk rage, the Noise Rock distortion and the progressive Post-Hardcore structure and even blasts of melodic Punk added for a start contrast.

Tracks such as the emotive and down-tempo ‘Bartenders Without Wings’ benefit from this strong and consistent set of influences warn on the same sleeve as the band’s hearts. ‘Bartenders Without Wings’ is not only a reprieve from the unrelenting rage of this album but also one of its best.

‘Danger Music #9’ can be summed up by the words “choatic hardcore rage” and the following quote – ‘When people become numbers, we’ll live counting our dead and die watching the clock, from our hospital bed’.

‘Cancer Eater’ see’s the band fall behind Brandon Kellum as a more personal story comes to fruition. I recommend having the lyrics in front of you for this one for a song so honest it deserves your undivided attention. ‘Cancer Eater’ is another blast of Noise-toned Metallic Hardcore rage and its quite beautiful in its own cathartic way.

‘Broken Culture’ is another social-commentary of the most aggressive manner. The band take their jagged riffs and ironic groove forward to criticise their surroundings. In effect you can’t win and shit is fucked yet there is still room to scream in defiance or at least bleak and realistic observations to take the edge off the inner pain.

This is not a positive album, it is not designed to assist you in the fight rather to provide the context from which you can formulate whatever action you wish. Anti-Melody is also an album conveying a very deep and personal struggle and response via music that just so happens to be chaotic, relentless and very well executed.

Get it, listen to it, immerse yourself in it.

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Matthew Speer

Matt has 2.1 BA in History and is most likely somewhere in his twenties. He enjoys a wide range of music, but has a strong penchant for Punk-Rock. Originally he hails from the Isle Of Wight off the South Coast of England, UK and spends most of his time around England's South-West.

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