AGAINST EMPIRE are one of the forerunners of modern US Anracho-punk. Calling LA home they have managed to break out of the City of Angels and embark on several US tours and I believe even a trip to Europe over the last half decade. With that I have had the opportunity to witness their angry punk rock protest live several times, and have even shared the stage with them on more than one occasion.
Recently AGAINST EMPIRE returned to the Mile High City for an amazing set at the Blast O Mat. We had the opportunity to catch up with them and you can see that interview here. Previous to the show I had been warned that they had adopted a more Street Punk sound but once they hit the stage it was apparent they were still coming from a place of metalized crust. They unleashed a barrage of pure aggression on Blast O Mat that night playing a high energy tight set of pounding punk rock mayhem. Lucien is a mad man behind the drums and a lot of fun to watch.
'Thieves and Leeches' is their third full length and is another quality release from the Profane Existence label. My copy has a silk screened slip cover over the standard issue sleeve and the wax is golden yellow. There is also an insert with the lyrics and a few select pictures.
Musically AGAINST EMPIRE charge ahead with their familiar blend of crusty punk rock. The first side of this record is what I expect of them, Brain's shredding guitar and tasteful leads really bring each song to life. On the second side I hear less crusty metal and more straight up punk rock. This is maybe where the Street Punk reference came from. I am hesitant to call this street punk as the crust is still there but the metal seems to have dropped out of their sound and they don't have the dumb lyrics that most Street Punk continues to offer. Although not as straight forward the lyrics are as biting and powerful as ever. As I look at the credits on the insert I see that it was recorded in April and November of 2010. It seems that during that span they may have adjusted their sound to something more on the punk side of the crust continuum.
This is a solid release and I expect that AGAINST EMPIRE will only continue to build momentum. They are a tight knit group of dudes and I can't see them disbanding any time in the near future. They have too much to say, too much talent and are having to much fun to give any time too soon.