American Standards are a hardcore band from the USA formed in 2011 by singer Brandon Kellum. The bands first release was their self titled E.P. in 2011, quickly followed by their first album, 'Still Life' the following year. Two further E.P.'s have been released, 'The Death Of Rhythm And Blues' (2013) and Hungry Hands (2014).    
In 2016, the band began writing for their second full length album, which became 'Anti-Melody', released in 2017. 'Anti-Melody' is the bands most emotionally and socially poignant release to date, with singer Brandon Kellum stating "What started as social commentary on the growing divide in our society became very personal when our founding guitarist Cody (Conrad) passed of suicide and then soon after, my father of cancer. We went back in to re- record much of the album and in a lot of ways used it as therapy to cope with the experiences". The resultant output is a raw and powerfully resonate glimpse into the group's minds during these troubled times. Lyrically, the new album deals with sociopolitical themes, corporate greed, satire and materialism.    
The hardcore genre is viewed mainly as a "fuck it" style genre, with many bands giving the middle finger to society. American Standards approach their music differently, with the new album an emotional and very personal affair. Opening with the furious 'Writers Block Party', American Standards deliver a face melting slab of in your face aggression. 'Writers Block Party' deals with the struggles of writing an album and is a furious start to a fierce journey. A journey that gets even more fierce as 'Carpe Diem, Tomorrow' blazes into life, savagely cutting a brutal path through the airways. Genres such as hardcore and metalcore have always been at the outer limit of what I listen to, but 'Carpe Diem, Tomorrow' has a massive thrash metal influence and I actually found myself head banging along. 'Churchburner' maintains the aggression and attitude, with singer Brandon Kellum on top form, spitting venom as he ferociously delivers a cracking vocal performance over a blend of hardcore and thrash metal. 'Bartenders Without Wings' sees the pace and power dissipate, with the aggression level dropping too, focusing more on a kind of mellow feel, with more clean and clearer vocals than any other song on offer.    
The band are not afraid to experiment with their sound, as heard on 'Bartenders Without Wings', but in the shape of 'Danger Music #9', they revert back to their attitude laden, in your face, brutal savagery. Picking up the pace and rampaging on, 'Danger Music #9' will appeal to thrash metal fans too, with violent head banging and wall of death mosh pits a must. Very personal to singer Brandon, 'Cancer Eater' deals with the passing of his father. Bucking the trend of what is expected of hardcore bands with the lyrical topics of their songs, American Standards offer a much more personal insight, dealing with real issues that affect everyone, such as healthcare, media and cancer. Emotionally charged and delivered at a blistering pace, 'Cancer Eater' is a great song. 'Broken Culture' is a thunderous romp, with a less venomous vocal delivery and some sparkling guitar work. Throughout the album, attitude and aggression has played a major part in the delivery of the American Standards sound, yet the final song on the album, 'Chicago Overcoat' is a passionate and emotional journey, dealing with the suicide of founding member Cody Conrad. All the hustle and bustle that has gone before disappears and is replaced with a darker vibe, raw emotion and the gut wrenching vocals are strained to an almost emotional breaking point. American Standards are not like the majority of bands in the hardcore genre who stick a middle finger up to the world, telling it to "fuck off"...they write songs that deal with real issues that affect people, everyday of their lives.    
Overall, a cracking slice of aggression and attitude, 'Anti-Melody' is a fusion of hardcore/thrash metal with every song delivered with passion and emotion.    
Review By Iron Mathew Collins