Astpai - Feeling Safe In Programmed Channels (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Feeling Safe In Programmed Channels (2005)

Rise or Rust

Astpai, hailing from Wiener Neustadt in Austria, are the European answer to Rise Against and Strike Anywhere. A politically-fueled punk band that utilizes aggressive hardcore guitar techniques jointed by melodic riffs, but with enough variety to differentiate from their peers.

The diminutive recording budget apparent on Feeling Safe In Programmed Channels does little to harm the band; instead, a strong D.I.Y. presence is felt. The eleven tracks whip by in a half-hour, and each is a belligerent guitar attack on the listener, fierce while encompassing a catchy aspect that makes the riffs memorable. Songs like "Upon Receipt Of Our Instructions" and "Upper Class Poison" musically position themselves to fit on any number of Fat Wreck Chords' Floyd compilations, picking up where Wyzo left off.

Despite my praise, Astpai suffer from one significant defect: Their lead vocalist's raspy voice kills the moments when a catchy vocal segment is ready to break out (see: "Time To Face The Facts"). The scratchy wail aims the group towards the roots of politically-charged punk rock, conscious of today's Midwestern American punk.

For their first proper recording, Astpai are sure to make considerable noise overseas and hopefully the maturation process that comes from being in a band over time helps the quartet find their recordings in the United States shortly.