Chuck Schuldiner Project

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

American Standards-Still Life

American Standards is a very cool hardcore band who are just starting to get huge. Their EP Still Life is a testament to the punk ethos and the power of a few simple riffs. With a dominating and powerful sound punks will be enamored by the aggression and lyrical depth found on this EP. Much more in the punk vein than many modern hardcore bands this record should still appeal to metalheads. There are quite a few cool (if simple riffs) and the overall heaviness is something that all fans of extreme music can relate too.

The guitar work on this record is very straightforward. Raw riffs abound and are filled with a manic, almost grindcore-like energy. The bass playing is very heavy and really punctuates a lot of the riffs. It brings the sound down to a whole new level and shines on the slower parts. In particular the bass on Bottom Feeder shows how solid his playing is. The drumming is loud and barely manages to keep the band together. This helps to emphasize the manic energy and punk attitude of the band. If the drumming was precise it would not be as special. Finally, the vocals on this record are ferocious. Screamed and shrieked the anger that is possessed by this bands frontman is formidable. The lyrics are very interesting and criticize modern society. One particularly good couplet is from the song Paradigm-Alt-Shift-Delete “I keep trying to keep my head above the water/but its getting harder every day”.

In conclusion, this is a truly stellar effort for one of the future greats of hardcore. Intent on forcibly injecting more punk into a hardcore scene gone metal this should be a treat for many a skinhead. The moshers will find this album to be sufficiently energetic to give them something to crack skulls to and the philosophers will find more than a few ideas to talk about. All in all this is a very solid EP that shows off some very skilled young musicians on the verge of making a breakthrough. Go check it out!

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