AMERICAN STEEL: Destroy Their Future: CD

Destroy Their Future has quickly become one of my favorite recent releases. I heard American Steel for the first time this summer when I saw them play at the Fuck Yeah Fest in EchoPark. I enjoyed them then, but I was surprised by the difference between their live sound and their studio sound. Live, I thought they really sounded close to the Lawrence Arms. On this, it’s more of a… I dunno, electric-folksy, sing-along epicness? I know these guys predate Against Me! by a few years, but I think the first reaction upon listening to this is the urge to compare the two bands. I would say there are definitely grounds for doing this as they both share some similarities. Both bands have singers with an earnest working man’s operatic shout, both bands hit full tilt with choruses that beg to be sung along with, and both tend to write songs that resemble mini character sketches or open indictments against some facet of society. I have three favorite songs on this. “Mean Streak” starts out with a drunken-sounding intro about being a really anti-social girl, which turns into a love song from the girl’s point of view about one miserable fuck-up finding another miserable fuck-up with the chorus, “I like you ‘cause you’re like me.” I think that might be one of the most astute observations about how “love” tends to often function. “Smile on Me” starts out with a slow and lazy—almost acoustic—intro, breaks into one of the most joyous-sounding choruses when the rest of the band and backup singers bust in, and then, just as quickly, the song ends. I think the centerpiece of the whole album has to be “Old Croy Road.” This song about inheriting a father’s record collection is the kind of song that sucks you into the narrator’s viewpoint, even if you’ve never been in the exact same situation. This is the sort of song I think people were hoping for more of on the last couple of Against Me! releases. The rest of the record is just as strong. If big, hearty choruses are lacking in your life, I say pick this up.  –Adrian (Fat Wreck)