In the landscape of melodic hardcore music, few bands have etched their presence with as much distinctiveness and tenacity as As Friends Rust. Emerging from an extended silence that lasted almost two decades, the band roared back into the scene with their 2020 single “Up From The Muck”, affirming their legacy with a blend of their classic melody-driven hardcore coupled with a biting, contemporary perspective.
Fast forward to today, the band’s latest offering, “Positive Mental Platitude“, sets the stage for their new album “ANY JOY“, slated for release on August 18th via End Hits Records. This single marks their first musical endeavour since “Up From The Muck“, which itself was a long-awaited resurgence after an 18-year hiatus since 2002.
This fervent wait is about to end as the official music video for “Positive Mental Platitude” is available! Animated by Seppe Dausi, it can be watched right here!
Stepping into the sonic realm of “Positive Mental Platitude“, one encounters a melodic hardcore sound that’s reminiscent of their formative years, yet enriched with a maturity reflective of their journey thus far. The track encapsulates a resilience that permeates As Friends Rust’s work, a testament to their unwavering ability to resonate amidst an evolving music landscape.
Before delving into the message behind “Positive Mental Platitude“, it is crucial to understand the context from which it springs. As the world adapts to the rapid dissemination of information and the burgeoning culture of online communication, individuals are inundated with a constant stream of personal lives, including the hardships and tragedies that used to be private affairs.
In a candid reflection, Damian Moyal, the band’s frontman, elucidates the inspiration behind the track.
He states: “This song is about how, with personal lives now being made so public, we’re all exposed to peoples tragedies and misfortunes, which in the past — prior to the proliferation of social media — were kept private. So now there’s this expectation to acknowledge those tragedies when publicized, even though they’re being publicized against a million other hardships. So we dole out these handy little gestures and emoticons to quickly show that we’ve seen the news and we know it’s horrible, while allowing us to go on our merry ways without actually having to get too close to the tragedy. It’s not necessarily a criticism as much as a ‘Wild how quickly things change and how technology yielded a new display of solidarity to keep up’ kind of observation.”
With their return, As Friends Rust doesn’t shy away from the tough, multifaceted realities of the contemporary world. Through their powerful lyrical narratives and undeniably resonant melodies, they offer not only a slice of their musical prowess but also a thoughtful commentary on the changing dynamics of human connections in the digital era.
As the anticipation builds for the upcoming album, “Positive Mental Platitude” serves as an emblem of the band’s ability to evolve while staying grounded in their robust hardcore roots.
Originally formed in the late ‘90s, As Friends Rust has been through a few iterations, but it is the core line-up of vocalist Damien Moyal, guitarist Joseph Simmons, guitarist James Glayat, and drummer Timothy Kirkpatrick that are creating thought-provoking melodic punk music for the modern age. With three EPs, two 7 inches, and a full-length in their history, As Friends Rust already have a lifetime of work in their pocket, but the seven songs on Any Joy might just be their most striking yet.
Originating in Gainesville, Florida and now spread across the country, As Friends Rust wrote, recorded, and produced Any Joy mostly from the comfort of their own homes. Vocals in Ann Arbor, MI, guitars in Gainesville, FL and Brooklyn, NY, with the exception of the drums, which were recorded in a studio by John Howard in Gainesville. Not currently having a permanent bassist, the band called upon friend Andrew Seward (of Against Me!) to play bass on most of the record, with additional contributions from Simmons. Mixed by James Paul Wisner in Orlando, FL and mastered by Matthias Lohmöller in Germany, the creation of the album was truly a collaborative and international effort. Working in separate spaces allowed the band to experiment more as the songs came together, resulting in a familiar but fresh sound that has more bite than past releases. It’s more focused, more direct, more confrontational, more catchy, while still staying true to the band’s melodic punk and hardcore roots.
Lyrics tackle everything from the emptiness of emoticons as a form of communication on “Positive Mental Platitude” to the need for political and social activism versus the occurrences of daily life on “No Gods, Some Masters.”
Diving deeper in, Moyal states: “The album is pretty varied topically, but there is a throughline in the way topics are addressed. In the past, as with many hardcore bands, ideas were presented from a more defined perspective, with a self-assuredness that, in retrospect, is pretty laughable given our ages at the time. On this album, most of the songs are left open as unanswered questions, shining light on an issue or even debating an issue from multiple perspectives, but ultimately leaving things unresolved. We’re trying to explore the nuances that sometimes get missed, or that we’re often too emotionally charged to consider.”
As the record sends off with the repetitive “We care, but not so much,” it sums up the attitude that As Friends Rust are making music for themselves, not for nostalgia, not for a paycheck, but to be shared with their long-time fans and anyone who wants to listen.
01. Final Form
02. Positive Mental Platitude
03. See Us Now
04. Great Filter
05. The Walking Debt
06. Origin Stories
07. No Gods, Some Masters
08. Up From The Muck (CD only)
09. Last Of The Famous International Scumbags (CD only)