ASTPAI - Heart To Grow

Astpai - Heart To Grow

13 songs
36:01 minutes
***** ***
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Astpai are a quartet from Austria that plays a mix of punk and hardcore. On paper, this may not sound overly original, but their third record Heart To Grow is nonetheless able to create quite a few moments of suspense. The good impression I had from their previous album Corruption Concealed Under Deceptive Slogans has definitely been consolidated.

The Austrians claim to be influenced by Kid Dynamite and None More Black, bands that don’t mean much to a forty year old reviewer. Astpai remind me at times of Leatherface, which is by no means a bad comparison. This is mostly due to the raw vocals but also the gruff guitar riffs that sound like coming straight from the Nineties cement that impression. Yet there is always a melodic component, not unlike Hüsker Dü. The balance between faster and more laid back songs is optimal. Especially the melodic All The Thieves had won me over from the start with its strong hit potential. The folk infused Southwards is another highlight that could appeal even to fans of Dropkick Murphys. Those who like it really hard should check out 360 Per Second. Astpai manage splendidly to present the most different facets of punk, emo and hardcore.

You have the choice between the CD version and the vinyl which contains one song less but comes with a download code for two further tracks, so that the vinyl fans eventually get more music. No matter what format you prefer, you will not be disappointed by Astpai’s new record.

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