American Standards
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American Standards

Phoenix, AZ | Established. Jan 01, 2011

Phoenix, AZ
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Metal Punk




"The New Shape of Punk"

LOS ANGELES (Top40 Charts/ Earshot Media) In 1998 the iconic Swedish hardcore punk band Refused begged for it, in 2011 we finally start to hear the response. New Noise. American hardcore band American Standards has managed to bring a fresh spin on a genre that had become increasingly riddled with cookie cutter breakdowns and empty messages.

Formed in early 2011, American Standards plays raw, thrash hardcore with a foundation of punk and rock n roll. With clever plays on words, their passionate message derives from philosophy, existentialism and corporate/political satire. Songs such as "Paradigm alt+SHIFT+delete" were inspired heavily by the Occupy Movements in which vocalist Brandon Kellum could hear daily from his downtown Phoenix home.

"We don't have the look for your new business model!" screams a line from the song. Mirrored sentiments of protesters anger for the corporations.

The band are advocates of building upon a local "do it yourself" arts community. It's first self titled release was self distributed. More than 500 copies were created, painted with stencils and then a handwritten lyric sheet was placed in each homemade paper sleeve. This was mentality can also be found in their self made stickers and locally pressed T-shirts, pins and patches.

"Building a local community, then presenting the idea on a national level has always been a goal of ours."

Kellum says of the band.

"This includes local music, local business and local causes."

American Standards strives to present itself as a platform for giving back to the community through benefit shows and organizing volunteer events. These humanitarian efforts shine through in projects they've organized such as Hope For The Hopeless. Hope For The Hopeless is a tour featuring several local and touring acts. At each show, the proceeds from ticket sales are donated to a non profit local to the city it is hosted in. Past beneficiaries include; Teen Lifeline, Streetlight Tucson/Abolition Media and the DEBRA Foundation.

As an extension of the tour, American Standards has created a Hope For The Hopeless compilation CD featuring 14 bands. All proceeds from CD sales are donated directly to HALO, a no kill animal shelter which was voted on by over 1,000 fans of the band.

With just a year under their belt, American Standards has made a huge impression and has even bigger plans on the horizon. A full length CD as well as continued touring through out 2012 being part of those plans. With actions to match their words, American Standards continues to inspire the motion for change. - Top 40 Charts

"Hungry Hands"

What sets Arizona’s American Standards apart from their hardcore contemporaries is their inventiveness and balls to mix things up rather than sticking to a familiar path. At only three tracks long, Hungry Hands is a brief but chaotic bruising of blunt, passionate hardcore. Opening track, Casket Party is a Botch-lite slab of spitting grooves and snarls, gang-vocal chants (“I! WON’T CLOSE MY EYES!“) and detuned guitar-shrieks that bring to mind The Chariot (when they weren’t swinging their instruments like clubs and actually did play them).

The snapping, schizophrenic pull of Circus Rats mixes oddball time signatures, stop-start drum patterns and scrawling, groove-fuelled riffs. The vocals are howling mad – overlapping screams and fanatical ranting. There’s a moment at around 1:49 where the rage cuts off, to be replaced by some almost Vaudeville piano and gentle guitar plucking, before concluding with dark, descending guitar-crashes and a fairly doom-rock conclusion. Final track, The Complex Death Machine combines the tortured bludgeoning power of France’s The Rodeo Idiot Engine and solemn, spoken-word segments that are just as wrought and rabid as the sledgehammer attack that proceeded it.

Raw, fervent hardcore that burns with a ragged turmoil. You can download Hungry Hands from American Standards bandcamp. - Keep It Fast

"Still Life"

With a debut album planned for the latter part of the year we thought it was worth checking out the Still Life EP from US hardcore band American Standards. It may have been out a while but as possibly many, like us, missed its initial unveiling and it is so damn good there is no better time to catch up and fire up a hunger for the forthcoming full length release.

From Phoenix, Arizona, the quartet of vocalist Brandon Kellum, guitarist Brennen Westermeyer, bassist Corey Skowronski, and drummer Geoff Gittleson, has earned a strong reputation for their live performances and sound which though we called them a hardcore band takes in many more potent essences such as punk and noise rock. It is a riveting confrontation and at times borders unleashing disorientation with its passion bred intensity and creative maelstrom. The unpredictable and diverse imagination to its invention though is an easy capture of the imagination with band and sound having the depth and flavours to ignite the appetite of all fans from the likes of Cancer Bats and Every Time I Die through to those of Dead Kennedys and on to devourers of the kind of noise the likes of Coilguns, Retox, and Blood Brothers conjure. Since forming the band has toured extensively across the US especially through 2012, playing with bands such as Sick Of It All, Trial, Touché Amore, and Joyce Manor and making successful appearances at numerous festivals including Within These Walls, The Punk Rock Picnic, and inFEST. Since the release of Still Life, American Standards has signed with Victory Records for the new album and continued to explode stages with their devastating sound.

Released via indie label We Are Triumphant, the EP opens with the brief and irresistibly caustic Self (En)titled, the track coverinstantly attacking the ear with vocal venom and soon joined by an emerging rhythmic and sonic provocation. It is the perfect introduction to open up attention and set the wheels of intimidation and incitement in motion as it boils up into the following Raised By Wolves. Again the coarse vocals of Kellum seize the opening seconds, his delivery a harsh but excellent rub on the senses immediately wrapped in another fury of sonic and rhythmic challenge. There is an earthy groove soon in place to start a deeper contagion aided by group scowls and the enslaving beats of Gittleson but it is just the appetiser as the track explores veins of infectious alternative rock alongside rapacious riff greed to ignite greater flames of passion for its confrontation.

The close of the track also sees the bass of Skowronski develop a predatory throat to its growl which is scintillating and across subsequent tracks prowls and chews the senses and emotions with greater and more carnivorous glory starting with Bottom Feeder. A sonic tease comes with drum foot stomps to open up the fury, and is soon led into a jugular ripping primal assault, vocals and the guitar of Westermeyer scything through the air with acidic malevolence. The unexpected offering of clean vocals is another rewarding and pleasing element and tempers the sonic fire and bass/drum barbarity which threatens throughout.

Both Paradigm-Alt-Shift-Delete and Harvester continue drawing stronger impressed reactions to the release. The first is a tempest of metallic vengeance crafted by again excellent bass and drum vehemence further fuelled by the twisting guitar grooves and varied vocals which switch from seduction to antagonism note by note. With flames of noise rock and discord taunts, the song is a thrilling adventure of predacious design, senses and thoughts lured and exploited by the excellent enterprise and insidious invention of every element of song and band, especially that bass. Its successor is equally corrosive and eager to offload its sonic rabidity onto nerves and synapses, a ferocity driven by arcs of guitar sonically honed imagination, flesh searing vocals, and steel jawed basslines gnawing away from start to finish. Not for the first time American Standards take exciting detours from the assault, here vocal harmonies allowing breaths to be taken and passions to leap before the returning savagery brings a triumphant climax.

The release is completed by the fearsome punk goading of The Red Queen and the crawling intrusive primal chaos that is the title track, its opening lumbering gait evolving through oppressive washes of intensive rage vocally and musically and varying unpredictable pace changes. Again there is a constant flood of ideas and variations all successfully and seamlessly infused into the emotive furnace. The two tracks leave the richest impressions and satisfaction to confirm the release as something quite immense.

Rather than wait for, what on the evidence of the EP, will be an album to bring another striking and exciting provocation, we suggest the Still Life EP should be confronted right away and allowed to feast on thoughts and passions, and as a name your own price offer on their Bandcamp profile, American Standards have given an invitation impossible to refuse, especially when it one of the best hardcore releases to come along in the past year.

9/10 - Ringmaster Reviews

"American Standards "Writers Block Party" Premier"

Next month, "noise punk" unit American Standards will release a new, eight-song album titled Anti-Melody. Formed in 2011, the Phoenix, Arizona band has played hundreds of shows and put out three records in the interim. Their chaotic brand of hardcore, inspired by 90s hardcore punk and early 00s post-hardcore, should appeal to fans of bands like The Chariot and Every Time I Die.

Anti-Melody was recorded at Kingsize Soundlabs (Bad Religion, Letlive) in Los Angeles, CA and is slated for an April 28 release (you can pre-order it here). Vocalist Brandon Kellum explains the adversity that helped to shape the album:

"What started as social commentary on the growing divide in our society became very personal when our founding guitarist (Cody Conrad) passed of suicide and then soon after, my father of cancer. We went back in to re-record much of the album and in a lot of ways used it as therapy to cope with the experiences. Although intimate, at its core Anti-Melody is centered around the universal theme of separation on many levels."

Today we're exclusively premiering a video for the record's debut single, "Writers Block Party." Check it out below, and keep up with American Standards via Facebook. - Lambgoat


Let’s face it, this world is in a state of complete and utter chaos. From government corruption, pharmaceutical companies taking advantage of the mentally ill (and the doctors who constantly enable them), a general lack of societal interest in what truly matters because of the advancement of technology and the desire to have the newest and “best” at all times… we’re headed quickly towards a collapse. It is for this reason that anarchistic music will rise to an all-time high and why bands like American Standards are more important than ever. Unapologetic and unafraid to speak their minds, we’re at a point where music will continue to seek and become a catalyst for the change this world so desperately needs. Anti-Melody, the latest album from American Standards, started out as one of those records and, in many ways, still is but it took a personal turn when loss was introduced.

“What started as social commentary on the growing divide in our society became very personal when our founding guitarist (Cody Conrad) passed of suicide and then soon after, my father of cancer. We went back in to re-record much of the album and in a lot of ways used it as therapy to cope with the experiences. Although intimate, at its core Anti-Melody is centered around the universal theme of separation on many levels.” –Brandon Kellum

While the band’s previous efforts have focused on just having fun, this album is much more intimate and, if you listen to the lyrics to tracks like “Cancer Eater” that will be more than apparent. The band has a sound reminiscent of the early days of bands like Refused and The Chariot, chaotic in nature but with an important message to spread. From the opening track, “Writers Block Party” to the last, near-acapella screams of “Chicago Overcoat,” this album is relentless and lives up to its name. Complete chaos ensues and draws you in through some of the best the genre has had to offer in many, many years. Fans of a heavier side of the hardcore, rejoice because they’ve got you covered in spades. Centered around the angst-ridden lyrics of Brandon Kellum, this album begs to be heard but is not for the faint of heart.

In a time where such madness exists in the world, Anti-Melody, becomes more important than ever. With a message to wake up and look at what’s going on around us, to stop feeding into the bullshit we’re told daily and a rallied cry for change… it wouldn’t surprise me if this album were grouped into “essential” hardcore album lists. If you think you have the heart for it, be sure to check out Anti-Melody which will be self-released, tomorrow! - New Transcendence


  • Anti-Melody (2017)
  • Hungry Hands (2014)
  • The Death of Rhythm and Blues (2013)
  • Still Life (2012)



Sometimes strong emotions can make you lose focus. That’s not the case for Phoenix, AZ based chaotic hardcore band American Standards. After losing their founding guitarist to suicide, then shortly after the vocalist Brandon Kellum’s father to cancer, the four-piece founded in 2011 released their most emotionally and socially poignant album to date. 

ANTI-MELODY", which is the bands 4th release, displays the noise-punk outfits ability to navigate the troubled waters of depression and loss while still incorporating the social commentary and sharp wit that the band has become known for. More so, once distributed by Victory Records, the band took a new approach of self mixing, producing and independently releasing the album after recording at Kingsize Soundlabs (Mars Volta, Letlive, Bad Religion). The result is a raw and powerfully resonate glimpse into the group’s minds during the troubled times.

Now more focused then ever, American Standards has hit the road with their reckless live show playing over 300 DIY booked gigs to date. Their mantra, "Don't wait for things to happen, make them happen." The band has been seen sharing the stage with acts such as; Every Time I Die, Norma Jean, Zao, Eighteen VisionsComeback Kid, Stick To Your Guns, Stray From The Path, Knocked Loose, He Is Legend, Emery, Atreyu and more. 

‘ANTI-MELODY’ which had premiers on Revolver Magazine, Alternative Press and Lambgoat; is available now along with all past releases on iTunes, Google Music, Amazon and Spotify or you can pick it up along with exclusive merchandise through the American Standards Bandcamp page.

Band Members