Album review: The Architects - Live in Los Angeles

It begins with the house lights going down. Then the crowd noise builds with clamoring and cheers. Trumpets swell from nowhere and Spanish guitar fills the room. As the band plugs in the crowd grows louder. Then Brandon Phillips, front man of the Kansas City punk outfit The Architects alerts the masses at Palladium in Los Angeles “here we fucking go.” 

Kicking off their set with “Cold Hard Facts,” the opening track from their 2008 release Vice, The Architects make it clear that they do not fuck around live. With bolder and booming vocals and a more deafening drum definition, the accelerated live version of the song launches them headstrong into their straightforward, no-bullshit approach to their music. The seven song set, which features six originals and a solid AC/DC cover featuring My Chemical Romance guitarist Ray Toro, tears through a range of energy and anarchy found only in honest blue collar punk. From the stellar bass lines of “Bastards at the Gate” to the dance punk elements of “Year of the Rat” and “Don’t Call it a Ghetto,” Live in Los Angeles offers a documentary-style shot of why this band remains the hardest working collective in Kansas City. Every single note, drum beat and guitar solo is full tilt and turned up.
Without question, Live in Los Angeles is a must have. Stacked against the tracks pulled from Vice, The Hard Way and Revenge, the live cut allows a unique and alternative look at the structure of the band. Take for example “Year of the Rat,” the opening track from the band’s last full length release The Hard Way. With jaw-dropping solos that shred strings and minds, one can only imagine the impressions left on the sold out crowd of L.A. kids longing to see a live take of “Helena.”
Known for their energetic live show and theatric stage presence, My Chemical Romance is a tough and impressive band to share a stage with. However, if there were ever a local project to give them a run for their money, it would be The Architects.  You don’t have to believe me. The proof can be found in the mix.  
Also, just for fun, Google: The Gadjits.  

Set list:
Cold Hard Facts
Bastards at the Gate
Year of the Rat
Daddy Wore Back
Sin City (AC/DC)
Don’t Call it a Ghetto
You can download Live in Los Angeles on iTunes at the link here. Join The Architects next Saturday, December 8 at Club 906 with Story May Vary, Crush, Them Damned Young Livers, and Radkey.

--Joshua Hammond

After stints drumming for both The Afternoons and Jenny Carr and the Waiting List in the Lawrence/Kansas City music scene, Joshua Hammond found his footing as a music journalist, launching the national publication Popwreckoning. After running the show as Editor in Chief for 6 years, Hammond stepped away from the reigns to freelance for other publications like Under The Gun Review and High Voltage Magazine. This shift allowed the adequate amount of time for him to write passionately, allow the Kansas City Royals to break his heart on a daily basis and spoon his cats just enough that they don't shred his vinyl. 

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