Album Review: ASTPAI – “Burden Calls”

It’s pretty common for a band to want to try something new after three or four albums. Maybe the vocalist will try a new singing style. Or the band will try their hand at playing a different genre. Or maybe even invite guests into the studio to write or sing on every single new track. On their fifth studio album, Burden Calls, ASTPAI doesn’t do any of that. These guys are clearly happy with who they are, and the tunes that they crank out. And you know what? That’s totally cool. Burden Calls is the result of a hard-working band who have nailed down their sound.

Between the ready-to-shout-along choruses in “Death Everywhere”, “Emotion in the Way”, and the fantastic “Careers” to the 1-2-3 punch of “Ground Control”, “Down By Love”, and “Resignation”, this is straight up melodic punk rock: nothing more, nothing less. There are even a handful of soundbites (a clip from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze appears at the end of “Out”, while “Down By Love” features a repeated line from the 1986 film Down By Law) not unlike what might play out on a D4 album (okay, so maybe the clips are used in a manner more similarly to Cavalcade).

Sometimes new ground doesn’t need to be broken. If nothing else, Burden Calls is a consistent album that keeps true to the sonic approach that ASTPAI has cultivated over the past decade. There is some great punk rock to be found here. Seriously, go listen to “Careers”. If Dead Language didn’t quite hit the mark for you, or if you’ve been patiently (or impatiently) waiting for a follow up to C I V I L W A R to be released, Burden Calls might be exactly what you need to fill the void.

3.5/5 – Listen to the entire album below.

RIYL: The Flatliners, None More Black, Dillinger Four

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