World Be Free - The Anti-Circle (Cover Artwork)

World Be Free

The Anti-Circle (2016)

Revelation records

When you’re in a band that finds itself in the upper echelon of the punk underground, you often end up playing lots of shows and festivals with bands in a similar stratosphere. And with that, you often end up befriending and touring with those same bands. And with that, you have countless hours between sound check and shows to waste your time. Or not. Maybe you’re World Be Free, truly a supergroup in every sense of the term, and in your free time you decide to start a band with musicians from that very upper echelon of the punk underground. Bear with me now. World Be Free features Scott Vogel of Terror on vocals, Sammy Siegler of Gorilla Biscuits/CIV/Judge (and a bevy of other bands) on drums, Arthur Smilios of Gorilla Biscuits/CIV on bass, Andrew Kline of Strife on guitar, and Joe Garlipp of Despair/Envy on guitar as well. I mean, come on now. It’s like a European hardcore super festival rolled into one band. Their debut album on Revelation Records, The Anti-Circle, rocks with the mélange you’d expect from such a diverse body of musicians. Because, while it’s easy to argue all members come from the same hardcore punk scene, they bring very different stylistic tendencies to their music.

The Anti-Circle opens with “World Be Free.” The song itself is exemplary of the record as a whole and the band cultivates a very traditional structure throughout. Great horse-hopping verse riffs followed by the ever-present drum build into a closing of melodious sing-alongs and just-heavy-enough-to-mosh riffage. World Be Free isn’t trying to reinvent anything here. They’re harnessing what they know works – energy, speed, aggression, and melody – to release what is quite simply a great hardcore punk record.

The biggest musical stretch in the record is Scott Vogel’s vocal delivery and sound. It is not nearly as openly angry as they are in Terror. In fact, Vogel does well to follow the sound of his bandmates. He very much balances his typical ferocious scream with a more measured vocal angst on The Anti-Circle. If I’m forcing comparisons in here (and I guess I am) I immediately thought of Todd from With Honor in terms of Vogel’s melodies and that half-sung/half-screamed delivery. And Vogel admirably holds his own throughout, even the more pop-punk tracks “Sammie’s Mirror” and “I’m Done.”

Musically, there isn’t that much of a stretch from these musicians’ more established bands. Every song is catchy in its own right, some drawing on great lead guitar work like “Empty Things” and others simply reflecting the melodic hardcore sound that these musicians, particularly Seigler and Smilios, are responsible for bringing to the forefront of the genre many years ago. And that’s part of what’s great about The Anti-Circle. It’s not revival or imitation at all. It’s those who started a sound offering up more of it.

World Be Free have written a great record with The Anti-Circle. There honestly isn’t much more to be said. Given the musicians involved, it’s expected that they deliver the goods. But with that expectation certainly comes the possibility of a letdown and, thankfully, that’s not to be. It’s fun, it’s fast, and it’s catchy. The Anti-Circle is unequivocally worth buying.