As if the heavens had opened up and rained Mana down upon me, AGNOSTIC FRONT’s album The American Dream Died filled the depths of my dark essence with a savory freedom of expression that soothed long held tensions in the knotted clumps of my soul.
Perhaps the irresistible draw to AGNOSTIC FRONT has to do with Roger Miret’s (Vocalist) heritage. Born in Cuba, Roger immigrated to the US as a child, where he grew up in the bosom of one of New York’s burrows. I imagine that his East Coast upbringing has something to do with the band’s definitive sound.
Like Miret, I grew up playing in the sewers of Podunk swamplands and chasing fleeting moments of blissful solitude found only when immersed in the anonymity of the drowning hum that made up the soundscapes of the Big Apple. Perhaps that is why “Old New York” nearly brings me to tears.
Influenced by the sights, sounds, and scents of the East Coast, AGNOSTIC FRONT’s particular recipe for Punk now outlives legendary contemporaries like Minor Threat, SSD, and The Dead Kennedys. Meanwhile, The American Dream Died, follows in the tradition of Punk in tempo and rhythm but is noticeably heavier than some of the band’s other recent releases.
Similarly, during a time when the effects of legislation, insidiously placed into law over the past half-century, have eroded our civil liberties and given us an overwhelming sense of exhaustion, AGNOSTIC FRONT steps in and takes charge with poignant lyrics refusing to, even still, give up. Needless to say, AGNOSTIC FRONT managed to bring back the style of Punk that stirs up one’s soul and furiously strokes up one’s righteous anger, all the while calling back into action all who are misfits and fringed.
The album maintained a level of maturity that not only can touch the youth, but also rip apart the patched up seams of our broken generation’s hearts. At this point in American history, I believe people have lost the spark that drove the Grunge and Riot Grrl scenes of my youth. We are more and more isolated with technology and our commitments to our lifestyles, sacrificing all that we can for crumbs off the honey pot of Wall St. Police, as always, have no accountability and live above the law.
Things in this country are indeed not what they used to be, and no one can deny that matters have only gotten worse. We are hurt by the state of our Country. The American Dream Died takes our pain, caresses it, and inspires it to angst. An angst that is found thick in hard core riffs, hate inspired shredding and felt tangibly through rhythm and heavy beats.
AGNOSTIC FRONT doesn’t just whine about corruption in the same manner as in petulant teen-punk. Neither do they simply try to prove conspiracy theories through their songs. Rather, AGNOSTIC FRONT kept in touch with the reality of mundane life and managed to produce a piece of symphonic soul-food that woos the heart, provides relief through self-expression, and uplifts morale.
When you buy this album be prepared to have it running on repeat, the tracks hurriedly move from one song to the next leaving one with a cavernous silence that yearns to be audibly satiated over again and again. In fact, you ought to just go ahead and purchase two copies for when the first wears out; it will happen, I promise.