Release date: October 2007
Label: Fat Wreck Chords
This is the first record released by American Steel in six years, after splitting up in 2002 following drawn-out tours of North America that, according to Fat Wreck Chords, included basements as well as decent clubs.
The band began as something of an agglomeration of punk, rock, and Irish folk/punk, and now that they’ve reconvened for Destroy Their Future, Rory Henderson, Ryan Massey, John Peck, and Scott Healy have shown that they really have forged their own way and created a modern sound worthy of CD changers everywhere.
You can hear The Clash and Irish punk throughout the record, particularly in the vocal deliveries of Henderson, Peck, and Massey. The lyrical content coupled with superb guitar, perfectly timed bass solos from Peck, and Healy’s energetic but not overwhelming drums makes for amazing modern punk that doesn’t lean toward the harder edge of the genre like Rise Against, but stays softer in the style of traditional punkers like the Dead Kennedys (minus the vocals of Jello Biafra, of course).
Songs comparing the modern American state to that of pre-Nazi Germany, and examining the breakdown of a personal relationship in terms of mental scars, give Destroy Their Future a very real element that draws you right in and makes you care about what the band is saying:
It won’t be long
?Til we’re all dead and gone
The world’s seeing stars and stripes
And smart bombs
?Dead and Gone?
What do you want me to do?
Say the same tender words
And come running back to you?
don’t you remember?
You washed your hands of me
?Or, don’t You Remember??
The re-formation of American Steel was a fantastic idea, even if this album is the only good thing to ever come of it. Destroy Their Future offers not only great music but some thought-provoking lyrics at the same time; It’s enjoyable from every angle. It’s not just a look at a unique side of modern punk, but It’s a look at the inside of America from dedicated, intelligent Americans themselves. And isn’t that the best kind of criticism?
You’ve got to love bands like this if only for the tendency they have of drawing your attention to important issues that have otherwise gone unnoticed or have been poorly presented by the media. No Use for a Name fans might particularly enjoy the record.