After the Fall – Fort Orange

After the Fall - Fort Orange

After the Fall - Fort Orange

Youthful energy swarms Fort Orange, the new album by After the Fall. Specializing in hardcore punk music for the kids, this Albany trio sounds tight and dedicated. With vitality humming out of every thick tone, digestible vocal, and greased rhythm, these 13 succinct tracks all sound crisp. That is an asset in a genre that demands a level of consistency that doesn’t come easy. After the Fall’s audience is skeptical of exploration, unless such deviance comes with a wink and a smile. So while Fort Orange won’t surprise, it does host an advanced level of songwriting and musicianship.

With a good mix of raw hardcore and palatable pop punk, there’s plenty here to make kids happy. Right off, the songs “Decapitate” and “Poor Excuse” bring smiles. “Decapitate” is the album’s most complete track, ripe with part and pace changes that allow the song to fill the page to the margins. Even the clichéd ending sounds right. And, later, adrenalized guitar work steals the spotlight on “Poor Excuse”, a riffing magnate spurred by a firing snare drum.

On Fort Orange, only the lyrics are lacking, such as those on “Routine”: “I need to break this bullshit routine before it’s too late and it kills me / I’m not trying to complain and sound lame, I know that many others have it much worse”. Here, the second line acknowledges how stupid the first line is. That should have called for a rewrite, especially since the deadly routine is probably little more than a late night video game habit fueled by Red Bull and Taco Bell. A better line is found on “Macho Bullshit”: “I still feel the same way I did when I was nine / Why have all my friends lost touch with what was so important to us?”. Good question. How do you tell when you’re growing up and when you’re giving in? But still, while there’s a lot to be said for aging and sacrificing ideals, not much of what we think when we are nine should stay with us.

But even with the juvenile melodrama and punk clichés, Fort Orange is an accomplishment. It should earn After the Fall a wider audience and some pocket change.

Raise Your Fist Records
Ass Card Records

After the Fall