Rogue Anthem – What to Believe


Raw, old-school punk rock is often best experienced live where one can feel the emotion and power behind the music, and Rogue Anthem capture this feeling fairly well on their debut release What to Believe. Loud, fast guitars, gritty vocals, sing-a-long parts, and fast drums are all here in this release. The minimal production on the release helps convey a live feeling to the album and conjures up an image of a poorly-lit, grimy and steamy club, packed to the roof with a rowdy crowd and bodies flying everywhere.

The debut album by Rogue Anthem, What to Believe, was released at a benefit show for the Augustat Family in November 2012. Tragically, singer, guitar player and founder, Myke Augustat (ex-Call to Glory) passed away earlier in the summer of 2012. Rogue Anthem was founded to carry a message to the forgotten and the underdog, a message railing against the evils of society today from materialism to greed to apathy. All profits from the album will be donated to the Augustat family, the wife and three children who miss Myke every day.

Rogue Anthem play loud, rough, gritty, punk rock, plain and simple, with many of the songs seemingly constructed to be friendly to circle pits. These songs start out at breakneck speed, then have some sing-a-long chorus/shouting parts, slow down for a breather, and then the speed picks back up. If you knew nothing of Rogue Anthem and happened to be walking by a show and could hear them playing, this is the type of band that would draw you in for a look. That is perhaps the best description of the sound of this album I can come up with. The sound is left very raw to the point where it sounds somewhere between a good demo and a finished product. The live feeling and energy comes through loud and clear, so this approach works. Similarly, if I was walking by and heard this coming from someone else’s stereo, I would stop and ask who it was.

Songs 1984, God Save Me, and One Voice start out the album with some fast tracks that would keep the circle pits and pile-ons in full effect, and then What to Believe and Needle Down slow things down a bit and bring out some Social Distortion influence. Needle Down tells a tale of beating addiction and complete with some harmonica thrown in, could be a cross between Social Distortion’s Story of My Life and Drug Train. “I was goin’ nowhere, now I’m goin’ somewhere, I put that needle down…” Similar to a live set, with some slower songs in the middle, Life of Agony brings back the speed after the two slower songs and there is no let up through the end of the album.

Rating: 7/10

Written by John Jackson

1. 1984
2. God Save Me
3. One Voice
4. What to Believe
5. Needle Down
6. Life of Agony
7. Unwritten Law
8. NYC
9. Kick Down the Doors
10. Underdog Army

Band Members:
Myke Augustat – lead vocals, guitar
Neill B. -Lead Guitar
Carter B. Guitar
Tanner P. – Drums
Billy B. – Bass (now vocals)
Vulcho – Bass

Record Label: Thumperpunk Records, Nov. 2012

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