Austria’s Astpai play punk rock with a healthy dose of Kid Dynamite snarl. It’s melodic, it’s loud, and most of all, it wants to be heard. Think of all those bands in the mid-naughties who started drawing on the melodic side of hardcore and post—Make Do And Mend, Title Fight, and Hostage Calm, to name a few—bands that took to the musicianship of Hot Water Music and Fugazi but kept their feet firmly in the world of traditional songwriting. Astpai is a step once more removed from those post-hardcore roots, but it’s hard for me not to think of them as kin. True Capacity is melodic punk that wants to hit hard, to give you all its got, and have you singing along with every word.
A more direct comparison for Astpai would be something like The Flatliners. They have a similar feel of heightened melodic punk, where they take from hardcore sounds but not structures. Here, there are songs with big choruses and competent arrangements delivered with an emotional range in line with what we expect from today’s melodic punk.