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Agnostic Front

At the dawn of the '80s, New York City was mired in debt and crime, grappling with one of the most trying periods in its history, yet ironically (or perhaps fittingly), its underground music scene was seething with activity like never before. Still reeling from the violent inception and subsequent implosion of punk rock, hundreds of underprivileged kids living in Manhattan and its outlying boroughs began forming rock groups to rail against the everyday trials, dangers, and prejudices of urban existence. As had been happening in other urban centers (most notably L.A. and Washington, D.C.) equally affected by the lean, recession-laced early years of Reaganomics, New York became a melting pot/hub for a flourishing hardcore scene -- a cultural phenomenon that used punk rock as a platform for politically charged, inherently regional musical catharsis.

And though it would eventually splinter into countless subgenres, at least initially, NYHC (New York Hardcore) far superseded the original punk movement's ragged collective (known as much for art rockers like Talking Heads and Television as for "true" punks like the Ramones and Dictators) in terms of a cohesive creative vision. Among the bands at the forefront of this united, seemingly unstoppable army were Agnostic Front, whose frantic, minimalist assault and sociopolitical rants came to epitomize the essence of hardcore, New York F*ckin' City style.

Guitarist Vinnie Stigma was a first-generation punk rocker and an early-'80s skinhead who finally got around to forming his own band, Zoo Crew, in mid-1982, with vocalist John Watson. But Watson only lasted a few months before being replaced by Cuban-born Union City, New Jersey native Roger Miret, a product of refugee parents with firsthand experience in social injustice and opinionated views about politics coursing through his veins. When combined with Stigma's primal rhythm guitar ferocity, Miret's charisma as a decadent urban messiah would come to personify AF's sound. Bassist Adam Moochie and drummer Ray Beez joined soon after and, after adopting the new name Agnostic Front (at Stigma's insistence because he thought it sounded like a movement), they recorded their first independent release, the United Blood EP, the following year. This was followed by 1984's career-defining Victim in Pain album, which contained a 15-minute blast of pure New York hardcore and saw the arrival of new members Rob Kabula (bass) and Jimmy Colletti (drums). It also confirmed Agnostic Front's brief status as leaders (along with precursors the Cro-Mags and Murphy's Law) of the already cresting movement, which found its weekly showcase via the now legendary Sunday matinees at favorite Lower East side haunts A7 and CBGB's.

But Agnostic Front were always on the verge of collapse due to Miret and Stigma's mercurial relationship and, like most of their hardcore brethren, were already tampering with their sound. Inevitably, as their musicianship continued to improve, the bandmembers (now including drummer Louie Beatto and additional guitarist Alex Kinon) began losing some of their raw hardcore spontaneity, and with heavy metal growing in popularity day by day, it was no surprise when they started experimenting with the tightly controlled velocity of thrash metal (i.e., buzzsaw riffing and double kick drums). Coincidentally picked up by the speed metal-friendly Combat Records, they struggled through the sessions for what would become 1986's Cause for Alarm album, today acknowledged as a crossover landmark alongside efforts by D.R.I. and Corrosion of Conformity. It was also considered a betrayal and a travesty by many of the band's early supporters, who couldn't have cared less that Cause for Alarm was teaching thousands of metal heads to appreciate hardcore.

Some saw 1987's subsequent Liberty & Justice For..., which featured an entirely revised cast of backup musicians in guitarist Steve Martin (no relation), bassist Alan Peters, and drummer Will Shepler, and did away with the metal-style drumming to pursue a looser, less disciplined direction, as an act of compromise. Not that it mattered: the original hardcore scene had pretty much disintegrated by this time anyway, with growing dissension among the movement's many factions (straight-edge, skinheads, etc.) transforming most concerts into armed combat, and leading to many clubs being shut down. Released in 1989, Live at CBGB's (with new bassist Craig Setari) collected Agnostic Front's best-loved material as heard in the band's natural element and, in a way, symbolized NYHC's official wake. As if to punctuate that fact, Roger Miret was arrested soon thereafter on serious drug charges and sentenced to nearly two years in prison.

In the interim, Vinnie Stigma and Agnostic Front carried on as best they could, undertaking their first European tour with new guitarist Matt Henderson and substitute singer Alan Peters, while Miret found solace writing lyrics about his predicament. These would comprise the bulk of 1992's comeback album, the overtly metallic One Voice, which was pretty much dead on arrival, since much of Agnostic Front's following had moved on to other things during the band's extended absence. A greatest-hits set entitled To Be Continued was also issued at this time, prompting Agnostic Front to call it a day following a farewell concert at (where else?) CBGB's. The final show was recorded for 1993's Last Warning, after which Stigma and Henderson formed Madball with Miret's younger brother Freddy Cricien.

Come 1997, however, Stigma and Miret began discussing a possible comeback for Agnostic Front. And when top punk label Epitaph Records showed interest, the band's long-rumored resurrection became fact, with former members Rob Kabula and Jimmy Colletti completing the lineup that recorded both 1998's Something's Gotta Give and 1999's Riot, Riot, Upstart in quick succession. The latter boasted an especially strong set of retro-hardcore, and featured guest appearances from M.O.D.'s Billy Milano and Rancid's Lars Frederiksen, among others. With the hardcore scene that they'd helped build effectively dead in the dirt, few listeners outside the band's New York stomping grounds seemed to care about their return, but Agnostic Front continue to perform and record occasional albums like 2001's Dead Yuppies (with new bassist Mike Gallo), 2003's Working Class Heroes, 2005's Another Voice, 2006's CD/DVD Live at CBGB's, 2011's My Life My Way, and 2015's The American Dream Died. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: My Life My Way

1. City Street

2. More Than A Memory

3. Us Against The World

4. My Life My Way

5. That's Life

6. Self Pride

7. Until The Day I Die

8. Now And Forever

9. The Sacrifice

10. A Mi Manera

11. Your Worst Enemy

12. Empty Dreams

13. Time Has Come


Track List: Warriors

1. Addiction

2. Dead To Me

3. Outraged

4. Warriors

5. Black And Blue

6. Change Your Ways

7. For My Family

8. No Regrets

9. Revenge

10. We Want The Truth

11. By My Side

12. Come Alive

13. All These Years

14. Forgive Me Mother


Track List: Dead Yuppies

1. I Wanna Know

2. Out Of Reach

3. Everybodies A Critic

4. Liberty

5. Club Girl

6. Uncle Sam

7. Urban Decadence

8. Love To Be Hated

9. No Mercy

10. Politician

11. Pedophile

12. All Right

13. Dead Yuppies

14. Standing On My Own


Track List: Riot Riot Upstart

1. Police State

2. I Had Enough

3. Riot Riot Upstart

4. Sit And Watch

5. Blood, Death & Taxes

6. Frustration

7. Sickness

8. Shadows

9. Nowhere To Go

10. Trust

11. My Life

12. It's Time

13. Rock Star

14. Nothing's Free

15. Price You Pay

16. Jailbreak

17. Bullet On Mott St.


Track List: Something's Gotta Give

1. Something's Gotta Give

2. Believe

3. Gotta Go

4. Before My Eyes

5. No Fear

6. Blinded

7. Voices

8. Do Or Die

9. My War

10. Bloodsucker

11. The Blame

12. Today, Tomorrow, Forever

13. Rage

14. Pauly The Dog

15. Crucified


Track List: Victim In Pain

1. Victim In Pain

2. Remind Them

3. Blind Justice

4. Last Warning

5. United And Strong

6. Power

7. Hiding Inside

8. Fascist Attitudes

10. Your Mistake

11. With Time

12. No One Rules

13. Final War

14. Last Warning

15. Traitor

16. Friend Or Foe

17. United Blood

18. Fight

19. Discriminate Me

20. In Control

21. Crucial Changes


Track List: Another Voice

1. Still Here

2. All Is Not Forgotten

3. Fall Of The Parasite

4. Pride, Faith, Respect

5. So Pure To Me

6. Dedication

7. Peace

8. Take Me Back

9. Hardcore! (The Definition)

10. Casualty Of The Times

11. No One Hears You

12. I Live It

13. It's For Life

14. Another Voice


Track List: Cause For Alarm

5. Your Mistake


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SssTigmAaaaa a a !
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Love Black people... Hate kneegrows, awww
You care
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First time i saw the was in Melbourne Fl. with Dr. Know @ 1987. Saw them last year at Punk rock Bowling in Vegas baby! Still f*ckin killin it!!! ECHC!!!
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Down for life.
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Ha! Comment below: "I'm not racist". B/C I live in a town of my own people, most notably behind a security gate & never have lived with other colored people. There by reassuring my non racist stance!
Hey a**hole, pack to s**t my n**ga & move to the 9th ward Nawleans, do it f**got!
Move your kids thier too! Let's see how long you last! C'mon man, were not racist, we just live amongst are own....ha-ha , what a P.o.S.! See ya in the hood,,dog
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Love the band and what they bring in their music.
And my bro kicks a**!!
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I remember bringing "Cause for Alarm" home from the record store when it came out. I broke my f**kin bed stage diving in my room. One very stoked 16 year old, to say the least. Almost 30 years later I'm still f**kin stoked!
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Much respect from the west coast, East Oakland California!! ! !
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saw these dudes last year at black n blue bowl
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Great group
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AF still gets played everyday love f**kin with my neighbor :()
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It doesn't get any better then this. HARDCORE FOREVER.
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Saw these guys back in 92. Small club we tore the stage up
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NYxHC is not DEAD
Support NYxHC in NYC !
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If you live in nyc an long island an say hard for is dead you gotta be misinformed of s**t an straight up dumb. AF will always live f**k you
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Rodger and Vinny are two of the v coolest always down talk to fans and sign whatever bullshit you have. Down with agnostic front.
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My dad said that just standing in CBGBs would get you an STD or a drug addiction. Either way, I would have killed to be there
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! Check Facebook.Com / L I N Y H C
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More like NJHC
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First paragraph almost describes my town. ( Minus the debt ) Because everything is for the wealthy athletic kids. And kids like me who cant really afford to go to the rec, or the pool are trying to stay out of trouble! Kids are so bored in my town, there turning to doing drugs, and causing trouble. But, kids like me, I got a skateboard and a guitar, and I'm not complaing. I'm happy being me, but the weathy kids just don't understand. I also got PUNK!
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i like the first paragraph a lot. pretty accurate.
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This is the s**t ol skool skinhead tunes, Oi!
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hell yeah agnostic front came to tampa fl recently i seen em playin with coldside and all the TBHC click anyways AG f**kin rules i was drunkk as f**k and ended up outside with a bustd lip n bruised knuckles didnt remember s**t
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If its not dead yet I hope it dies soon
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Down with Agnostic Front
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The hardcore is dead. Hardcore is not hardcore anymore it's a bunch of straight edge bullshit that wear sport shirts and fitted hats. If I have to explain more , you eat s**t for breakfast.
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i love how they said the scene was dead after early 80s and how there cds were dead on y o n e who knows s**t knows the scene never died and never will die. after it isnt trendy anymore and the fake f**ks leave the real kids keep it alive
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asalvatore81 3
Billy Psycho!!!!! SFFS
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i saw at cbgb... his full crazy voice had yet to surface...i love Agnostic Front!!! any one into those NYHC Murphy's Law!!!????
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I am not racist
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i am racist.
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i saw them at CB's many time and Rock Hotel between 82 and 84. That whole NYHC scene was amazing.
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Leave a comment…
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Are these guys on Liberty City Hard Core? =P
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And don't you forget they are a hard core skinhead band. Wether you wanna claim skinhead or sharp! They still rock the hard core skinhead scene, II did'nt see that in the BIO, get your facts straight....
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im going to see them in sep at the key in hollywood any 1 here from LA?
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I dig the first 2 albums...
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TSOL Speed Metal blows. Give me some Minor Threat, Gang Green, DOA, etc.
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I never Agnostic Front at CBGB's but I saw them in Fort Lauderdale with Death as the opening act. It was one of those crossover shows for metal and Hard Core.
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I saw Murphy's Law and Ramones at CBGB's. I have been missing CBGB's lately as well.
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armageddonou t o f h e r
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God I freakin miss CBGB's
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You just had to be there....
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after many years listening to af i finally saw them at the conservotory in okc. it was a highlight of all the show ive ever seen, im just glad they toured again. def a history making band. and they were cool to talk to.
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Then don't listen dumb a**! They wouldn't want you to anyway. Go listen to your Madonna and leave hardcore to the rest of us!
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I just don't prefer the vocals.
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agnostic front is the premier nyc hardcore band from the mid 80s. if you don't like them, then hardcore isn't for you
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