When Agnostic Front appeared in the early ’80s, the band’s sound helped define what would come to be known as hardcore. If punk was stripped down, Agnostic Front was even more stripped down. There were no artful postpunk leanings here. If punk was aggressive, Agnostic Front was even more aggressive, its sonics pummeling and warp-speed. If punk intimated at class struggles, Agnostic Front was lyrically reporting directly from a street’s-eye view. The band’s landmark 1984 album, Victim in Pain, boiled down all of that to its essence, with the title track a yelped battle cry for legions of shaved-head, boot-wearing disaffected youth.
Unsurprising for a band existing in some form for more than three decades, Agnostic Front has weathered its share of storms. There has been at least one definite breakup, from 1992 to 1996, and the list of past members — at least 16 — is more than triple that of its current roster. Still, the backbone of the group has arguably been founding guitarist Vinnie Stigma and vocalist Roger Miret (fun Miami-interest fact: he’s Cuban!). Both are still in fine, heavily tattooed form and regularly releasing albums. The most recent one, My Life My Way, was recorded in Tampa and produced by Miret’s equally hardcore half-brother, Freddy Madball.
Agnostic Front — backed by the Mongoloids, Naysayer, and local favorite Nobody’s Hero — will return to Churchill’s this Tuesday. The band’s shows at the venue are infamous, so come with sturdy shoes and a strong heart.
Tue., Nov. 15, 8 p.m., 2011