Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Polite Society Blacklist

Formed in 2006, New Orleans supergroup Arson Anthem have been assaulting listeners with their music since the release of their self-titled EP in 2008. Comprised of vocalist Mike Williams (EyeHateGod, Outlaw Order), guitarist Phil Anselmo (Pantera, Down, Superjoint Ritual), bassist Colin Yeo (Ponykiller), and drummer Hank Williams III (Superjoint Ritual, Assjack), Arson Anthem play straightforward, crusty, pissed off, grind punk with elements of sludge and classic hardcore thrown in for good measure. After losing his home and most of his belongings to Hurricane Katrina, Mike Williams moved into an apartment owned by Anselmo. The two began spending their spare time listening to Anselmo's record collection, and remembering a time when bands like Discharge, Sheer Terror, and Negative Approach ruled the world. Forming more out of a necessity to vent frustration than a desire to make new music, Arson Anthem began to take shape. After recruiting Hank to play drums and Colin to play bass, the band spent three days in Anselmo's Lousiana studio, Nodferatu's Lair, in February of 2006 recording their debut EP. Released on Anslemo's Housecore Records label in 2008, the EP is an eleven minute long masterpiece of unforgiving, blisteringly fast hardcore that starts off strong and never lets up until the last seconds of the final track have ticked away. Slated for an October 2010 release, the band's debut full-length, Insecurity Notoriety, finds Arson Anthem delivering more of the same. The production is low-fi and raw, the vocals are gruff and caustic, and the guitars scream at levels that are near painful. The packaging is low-budget and unpolished, and the attitude is intense and nostalgic, which is exactly what the band was aiming for. In a world where everything in the DIY metal underground has become watered down and exploited to the point of nausea, Arson Anthem provide a refreshing shot of adrenaline to a musical landscape in desperate need of resuscitation.