What sets Arizona’s American Standards apart from their hardcore contemporaries is their inventiveness and balls to mix things up rather than sticking to a familiar path. At only three tracks long, Hungry Hands is a brief but chaotic bruising of blunt, passionate hardcore. Opening track, Casket Party is a Botch-lite slab of spitting grooves and snarls, gang-vocal chants (“I! WON’T CLOSE MY EYES!“) and detuned guitar-shrieks that bring to mind The Chariot (when they weren’t swinging their instruments like clubs and actually did play them).
The snapping, schizophrenic pull of Circus Rats mixes oddball time signatures, stop-start drum patterns and scrawling, groove-fuelled riffs. The vocals are howling mad – overlapping screams and fanatical ranting. There’s a moment at around 1:49 where the rage cuts off, to be replaced by some almost Vaudeville piano and gentle guitar plucking, before concluding with dark, descending guitar-crashes and a fairly doom-rock conclusion. Final track, The Complex Death Machine combines the tortured bludgeoning power of France’s The Rodeo Idiot Engine and solemn, spoken-word segments that are just as wrought and rabid as the sledgehammer attack that proceeded it.
Raw, fervent hardcore that burns with a ragged turmoil. You can download Hungry Hands from American Standards bandcamp.