Agnostic Front

Posted December 3, 2008 in

When a band boasts a former member called Jimmy the Russian and CD titles like Dead Yuppies and Working Class Heroes it’s a pretty safe bet that they’re (1) from New York City; (2) from the streets; and (3) pretty fucking angry. All the above apply to hardcore head honchos Agnostic Front, who for over a quarter of a century (on-and-off) have been marrying restless, riot-starting oom-pah beats and pumped-up punk guitars to thrash metal flirtations and bulging-eyed, blue collar lyrics. The Front have endured the tribulations common to many of their ilk—a bewildering parade of line-up changes (their Wikipedia entry lists a Spinal Tap-ish 15 ex-members as well as the current quintet); a mid-career crisis of musical quality and identity; a lengthy hiatus (1992-’97); and an inconvenient (if cred-building) jail sentence for singer Roger Miret—yet, around the core of Miret and founding guitarist Vinnie Stigma, have spewed some genuine genre classics (notably ’84’s Victim in Pain) and a somewhat surprising return to form with last year’s Warriors. Tattooed and unmoved, the burly blokes of Agnostic Front dish-out pummeling chant-along anthems built on the Doc Marten-ed belligerence and oi-boy vocals of turn-of-the-’80s Brit punk; Bay Area metal’s deft drumming, stop-start dynamics and six string melodrama; and prominent, piano-toned bass. Though the formula they pioneered at CBGB’s (alongside fellow New Yorkers The Cro-Mags and Murphy’s Law) no longer sounds revolutionary, Warriors still suggests that Agnostic Front can incite a terrifying pit—and probably kick your pampered Cali ass—in their sleep. (Paul Rogers)


Agnostic Front, First Blood at Angelo’s, 135 E. 2nd St., Pomona, (909) 629-8100. Doors at 8PM, $15




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