Agnostic Front

Reviews

Agnostic Front First Warning LP

The earliest A.F. tracks don’t even sound like music to my ears. Everything—the riffs, the ultra-primitive drumming, the fuzzed-out string bend in the intro to “Final War”—is far enough removed from traditional rock’n’roll that I almost wonder whether these guys listened to anything besides the sounds of breaking garbage trucks and subway trains before they hit the studio. I mean, if Realities of War is a truncheon to the face, United Blood is like someone ripped the streetlight at 7th and A out of the f’n sidewalk and dropped it on your skull. If that’s your idea of a good time, consider this compilation, subtitled “The ‘United Blood’ Era Recordings, New York City, 1983.” All material was previously released on Grand Theft Audio’s Raw Unleashed CD a while back, and this LP shares many tracks with the superior No One Rules collection on Radio Raheem, technically getting away with the “several songs on vinyl for the very first time” sales point by including an alternate mix of the EP tracks. Anyway, it looks cool and features five different versions of “United Blood” on a single disc.

Agnostic Front Liberty & Justice For… LP

Full-on speedmetal now, losing most all previous distinctiveness. Lyrics remain angry but vague. Some are anti-state, or at least what it does to the individual, others are critical of those who oppose. Last time we talked, they said that they were getting away from the stupidity of what the skin scene became, yet here they cover the IRON CROSS anthem “Crucified.”

Agnostic Front Cause for Alarm LP

With their debut LP, I liked the music, liked the lyrics, had doubts about certain contradictions. With this follow-up, I like the music less (way more metal), the lyrics are largely good (though the anti-welfare “Public Assistance” attacks minorities as the problem), and again I am not convinced—even less so.

Agnostic Front Victim in Pain LP

There is one song on this extremely hot-sounding thrash album that attacks in-scene violence and bashing as the Nazi activity it is (“Fascist Attitudes”). Great! But unfortunately, much of the narrow-mindedness, fanatical nationalism, and violence that has destroyed the New York punk scene seems to have revolved around AGNOSTIC FRONT. Is it too little, too late? I hope not, but I’m approaching this band with caution.

Agnostic Front United Blood EP

A. FRONT’s music is ultra-frenetic, intense, and to the point—they sure don’t waste time with any unessentials. What distinguishes them from other New York groups like the MOB and URBAN WASTE is their apparent Oi influence, which manifests itself particularly in their growling guitar, their appearance, and—possibly (but hopefully not) in their ideas. I can’t really tell what the hell they’re talking about, but this EP is downright nasty.