Astpai - Corruption Concealed Under Deceptive Slogans
What saves this Austrian band from falling into the fatal pattern of all pop-punk-the slide into emo, the boring, conservative song structure, etc.-is the production, whose default setting is a wall of guitar sound that sounds Husker-y without being derivative. That doesn't mean that I am here to announce that "Corruption Concealed Under Deceptive Slogans" is a great record. It is a pop-punk record, just with a little more imagination and lyrics whose politics ring truer than, say, most pop-punk bands.
"Hard To Manage Broken Windows" is the best example of what I mean: it is slick, but blistering, with just enough edge to both vocals and guitars to keep it off MTV. Also, "Born as Destined, Locked Up as Forced" rages on despite some typical tempo shifts, and the lyrics are dead on honest without sounding preachy. And, you gotta love "Stuck on Repeat," which is forty seconds of old school hardcore that will remind oldsters of, but quite, DRI.
"Corruption Concealed Under Deceptive Slogans" attempts to work within a tired genre without falling prey to its diseases. For the most part it works, but Astpai makes it work when they stick to straight on punk, and leave the melody behind. Astpai has potential, they just need to stay pissed and keep it raw.
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