I Wouldn’t Trade That for Anything
I didn’t know what I was in for when I agreed to review Agent’s I Wouldn’t Trade That for Anything. Self described as melodic hardcore, rooted firmly in the Long Island sound, but strongly influenced by '90s indie rock bands like Braid, my initial response was mixed. The music has a very punk feeling to it - hard driving guitar riffs with vocals that were barely audible unless you turn up the volume to ear-splitting decibels that could permanently alter your eardrums. As someone who is old enough to remember the emergence of the punk scene in the late seventies, the band has a retro feeling, but with an updated grunge outlook.
After a second listen, I found that it was starting to grow on me, although I still wished the vocals weren’t so muted. True to its punk roots, the songs were short and quick and seemed to almost merge into each other into one long continuous, but not monotonous offering.
After reading the titles of the songs, I surmised why the lyrics were somewhat inaudible with titles like “Anywhere is Better than Here,” “Trying My Best,” “This is Getting Old,” and “Too Close for Comfort.” In spite of the angst that is suggested by these titles, I found that the music had a certain energy and originality to it that I found refreshing. Check it out if you’re willing to crank up the volume and turn down the lyrics.