ASTPAI - Corruption Concealed Under Deceptive Slogans

Astpai - Corruption Concealed Under Deceptive Slogans

12 songs
30:45 minutes
***** ***
Fond Of Life / Rise Or Rust


My first impression was that I was in the presence of just another young screamo band, but Austrian youngsters Astpai deliver much more on their second album which was already released in their home country last year, but gets nor European wide distribution by Fond of Life Records. Inspired mostly by bands (Kid Dynamite, None More Black) that I am, due my advanced age, no longer familiar with, I have probably a very neutral approach to their music. What you get is fast hardcore music with raw, abrasive vocals with a slight screamo touch and guitars that have this warm Eighties feeling that pioneer bands like Black Flag and Born Against used to have. Astpai are pummelling their way through a dozen songs, all the time convincing with killer riffs and unexpected breaks, at times they even achieve grandeur as on the rocking Hands Kept Clean or on the melodic Hard To Manage Broken Windows, where they sound like a less brainy Fugazi with melodic emo moments.

Even though this is a rather short album, it’s highly pleasant from a musical point of view. When it comes to the lyrics, I admire, on the one hand, the band for its social and political awareness, but on the other hand, their radicalism and uncompromising attitude are what made hardcore politics irrelevant in the first place for a mainstream audience. Especially the electronic This Declaration Of War…, although a well meant discourse for feminism, comes across like some butch lesbian venting her frustration at a male dominated world. If these guys just opened their eyes, they would recognise that the fight for feminism and against sexism should be fought on a different level, with a more measured tone and a less emotional performance.

But apart from this, which I consider naivety, Corruption Concealed Under Deceptive Slogans is an outstanding emo rock album that is maybe deeply rooted in the early Nineties, but due to its warm sound, it still works perfectly well in the now.

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