Astpai - Corruption Concealed (Under Deceptive Slogans) (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Corruption Concealed (Under Deceptive Slogans) (2008)

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On paper, Astpai sounds great. They're a sometimes vicious, but always spunky melodic punk/hardcore band from Austria with some poppier elements -- sorta like Kid Dynamite meets File Under-era None More Black. Really! But the thing is, the formula only comes out with decent results from their end.

Astpai have it all -- well. almost. There's the raspy, outraged vocals, a good charging motion and swift tempo changes. They also have an astute political awareness, with "Born as Destined, Locked Up as Forced" addressing Operation Spring and "This Declaration of War..." rooting on an anti-sexist group.

However, for all the inspiring thoughts and open-eyed consciousness at work here, little of Corruption Concealed is truly compelling or memorable. "Paving Ways in Cliché Suits" is definitely a catchy romp, complete with start-stop riffs and handclaps; overall, the album definitely retains a minimal level of interest too, but that's roughly it. After a first listen that seems to promise a whole new world of endless fist pumps and salivating house shows, Astpai doesn't quite manage to live up to those expectations upon repeat experiences of the album. Something's missing, and it's hard to pinpoint just what.

That being said, Corruption Concealed (Under Deceptive Slogans) is hardly terrible. Astpai seem to know what they're doing, and maybe with some more time and development they'll be able to match the level reached by their North American counterparts.

Born as Destined, Locked Up as Forced
Hard to Manage Broken Windows
Stuck on Repeat