American Standards – Anti-Melody
Release Date: 24th April 2017
American Standards are a hardcore punk band from the fiery depths of Phoenix, Arizona, and their music could be the embodiment of this. Their fourth album, Anti-Melody, released earlier this year, and is still full of strong vocals, headbanging instrumentals and powerful lyrics.
It starts off strong with the loud first single, ‘Writers Block Party’, and with the lyrics screaming at you, you may not realise it’s about “anxiety of writing an album with a much more personal narrative”. This theme stick with the rest of the album, as the band have stated “we just wanted to do something that was honest to us”.
The next songs, ‘Carpe Diem, Tommorow’ and ‘Churchburner’, are short but loud songs, both with strong meanings (fear and bias, respectively), as well as good instrumentals and deep-voiced lyrics.
Song 4, ‘Bartenders Without Wings’, is a comparatively slower, and has a really good instrumental and a deep meaning around the ways we approach conflict. After this, the songs go back to their fast paced and loud ways, but all while still retaining their lyrics about issues in the world, including ‘Danger Music, #9’ (healthcare) and ‘Broken Culture’ (media).
Song 6, ‘Cancer Eater’, holds meaning with the lead singer, Brandon, as it is about the passing of father and the last few days of seeing him in hospital. Despite the tough exterior the band gives off, they have said “I feel there’s a vulnerability in these songs considering the lyrical content and knowing that they don’t conform to what’s perceived as “popular” in our scene”.
The final song, ‘Chicago Overboard’, has a similar feeling, as it is about one of the founders of the band, Cody, who left in 2012 and committed suicide in 2015. This tough topic brings out the best of the band, as the lyrics show raw emotion and you can hear the struggle in Brandon’s voice.
As well as showing somewhat unexpected emotion in what is considered a ‘fuck it’ genre, American Standards are keen advocates of the DIY approach to music, and have released all 4 of their albums themselves. This can be seen as a risky move for full-time musicians, but it seems to work for them, as they have strong live presence, with over 250 shows under their belt – all booked themselves!
Recommended Track: Bartenders Without Wings
Check out my interview with American Standards here: