AGAINST EMPIRE: Thieves and Leeches: LP

To see a band in their early stages, go through line-up changes, and still continue to stay together after a good amount of time warms my heart. Not many bands make it past the one or two year point. Many others don’t even make it out to play beyond their local scenes. This band has accomplished more and can add U.S. and European tours under their belt. I think the first time I saw the San Fernando Valley-based band was back in 2005 as a five piece. Currently, they are a trimmed-down force as a three piece. Musically, they used to fall into a cross of crust and anarcho punk, but this time around their sound has strong leanings of ‘80s hardcore. It’s a more direct approach in sound that takes the music into higher energy territory than in the past. The songs are precise, yet played with a bit more speed, which adds gusto to the music. The complexity is now in the chord progressions and work with more layers that gives the songs the epic feel. Production is on the clean and bright side of the spectrum, which better suits the new direction of the music. Clarity helps define each element. Lyrically, they continue on with their social political commentary of what disturbs them. They also add in a cover of Crucifix’s Another Mouth to Feed. As much as I love this new record, I am even more proud of what the band has accomplished.

 –don (Profane Existence)