Brand New! This 5-song 12" EP is blazing fast and intelligent hardcore, 80s style, a la AOF's classic "What We Want Is Free" EP (1982) & "Give Thanks" LP (1984). Recorded at Chicago's Million Yen Studios (Cheap Trick, Effigies, Local H, Smoking Popes) on July 4, 2010, these 5 songs show the band members' continuing political involvement and brutal musical chops. This lineup had not written or recorded together since 1985's "In This Life" LP.
"New Normal Catastrophe" was mixed by J. Robbins (of Jawbox & Report Suspicious Activity [a collaboration between J. Robbins and AOF's Vic Bondi]) in Baltimore, MD.
This 5-song 12" is released in time for the return of the original lineup to the stage at Chicago's annual RIOT FEST from October 6-October 10, 2010. This lineup has not played live together since July 1985!
Vic Bondi: Vocals, Guitar
Dave Shield: Bass, Vocals
Dorian Taj: Guitar, Vocals
Joe Scuderi: Guitar
Virus X: Drums
"The one-two punch of the October 2010 Riot Fest reunion gigs and the release of this 12" EP on the same weekend elicited the thrill & immediacy of the early hardcore days; recorded on the 4th of July and available an efficient 3 months later, these 5 new tracks also belie the fact that over two decades have passed since AOF were a working band. The musicianship is as incredible as ever, with Virus X and Dorian Taj shining in particular... "With A Vengeance" could've fit on the "Give Thanks" LP; "Coming Off The Rails" has a souped up Really Red feel; the moodier "New Normal Catastrophe" recalls "Every Man For Himself." Vocally gruffer and lyrically as angry as ever (although "the internet is the opiate of the masses" seems a bit disingenuous from a Microsoft employee), this is way better than it should have been!" - Rocktober
"The original lineup is back with a 5-song EP, its first new music in 25 years. Singer Vic Bondi's voice -- always great -- has evolved into a raspy punk classic. And, musically, it's fierce but melodic, varied and intelligent. It's as strong as anything they've done.
Inspirational verse: 'If I had a hammer, I'd smash your American Idols. They all ring so hollow, we need something vital.'" - Reno Gazette-Journal
"While the beginning of the year saw the new legion of hardcore punk bands such as Ceremony and Fucked Up pushing the genre in interesting new directions, it seems that in response, the old dudes have stepped up their own game to assert their importance--if not dominance--over hardcore.
... Now, Chicago legends Articles of Faith have reformed and have released the exciting New Normal Catastrophe EP. Before the break-up of the original lineup in 1985, AoF wrestled together straight-up hardcore thrashers with post-punk textures. On this new five-song release, the band continues this trend. But, on this release, they make the interesting choice of making both their hardcore side and experimental side distinct from each other.
For instance, opener "With a Vengeance" floats in almost like a psychedelic jam session only to snap out into an old-school screamer, finally to revert back to the stranger pulse. Likewise, the band experiments with standard song harmony throughout the EP between passages of hardcore that made AoF stand out in the first place. In contrast to the way the music flits between the nasty and the nice, it appears that the last 25 years has made vocalist Vic Bondi even angrier. His voice has become a harsh growl coated in barbwire that makes his admonitions even more forceful--throughout the EP, the group rails at how things like big oil, too much interconnectivity, and stupid reality television are making Americans more complacent than ever. What makes the album stand out particularly is the clever wordplay throughout, such as when Bondi takes the traditional line "If I had a hammer...," and instead of listing things he'd build with the tool, he runs down a litany of things to smash. Most interestingly, instead of simply lamenting the state of the world, the group seems to focus inward. At the end of the album, Bondi asks the titular Brother John in a combination of desperation and rage, "Are you sleeping?! Are you sleeping?!"
I don't think Brother John is the only person that he's telling to wake up, though..." - punknews.org