Anti You - Two-Bit Schemes and Cold War Dreams (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Anti You

Two-Bit Schemes and Cold War Dreams (2010)

Six Weeks

Rome, Italy's Anti You cop the American early '80s hardcore revival sound quite well. The band's full-length effort, Two-Bit Schemes and Cold War Dreams cuts through with vicious and lightning-quick, minute-long bursts akin to oft-compared peers (past and present) like Career Suicide, Social Circkle and 86 Mentality (or Teen Idles and State of Alert with punchier production).

Sure, these songs generally all propel forward with the same, simple-minded tempo and largely run together. Closer "No One Like Me" stretches its leg with a more melodic and thoughtful intro, however. And anyway, the band capture the '80s production and guitar tone perfectly, and it assists in laying out a certain familiar vibe, from the catchy "Absolution" and "H-Bomb" to the jutting, charred chords of "Punks Quit" and snotty melodies of "Contaminated". There's even a spoken-word part in "Stockholm Pet" that sounds distinctly like Ian MacKaye know. For real. Otherwise, the vocals are somewhat of a stunted shout, and it gives the band its own relative uniqueness.

Two-Bit Schemes and Cold War Dreams is over in less than 18 minutes, so the compact disc version here is filled out with two prior EPs, Pig City Life and Johnny Baghdad, and two covers (Discharge and Descendents). While the songs aren't quite as good, the recording on Johnny Baghdad, surprisingly, sounds even sharper than Two-Bit Schemes at times. The older Pig City is, naturally, simpler and just slightly rougher in the production department, but it's a solid addendum just as well. The verses of "Bail Out" may as well be "I Don't Wanna Hear It" coverage, though the raging "Problem Child" is a mildly more original highlight. As for the covers, the band add a clanking overdrive to "Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing" and pretty much play "I'm Not a Loser" as faithfully as possible.

Definitely a standout among the European bands participating in ushering the early '80s hardcore sound into the present day.

Lobotomizer Man [Two-Bit Schemes and Cold War Dreams]
A Sign [Two-Bit Schemes and Cold War Dreams]
H-Bomb [Two-Bit Schemes and Cold War Dreams]
Punks Quit [Two-Bit Schemes and Cold War Dreams]
Info O.D. [Johnny Baghdad EP]
Pig City [Pig City EP]