RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Roger Miret - My Riot: Agnostic Front, Grit, Guts & Glory (Book)
Lesser Gods

Rating: B

While Agnostic Front and their front man Roger Miret might not be a household name to the masses, history has showed us that they were one of the most influential bands to explode out of the New York City hardcore scene in the mid 80’s, and their role in helping to shape the early movement and bring that genre of music to wider attention should not be undervalued.

My Riot, published by the burgeoning Lesser Gods out of NYC, is Miret’s captivating and harrowing, no holds barred account of a life lived in the trenches or more specifically, the streets of NYC’s Lower East Side, where you had to fight for every inch not only to get ahead, but often just to stay alive. To say that his life story is one of perseverance and overcoming the odds would be a huge understatement.

Born and raised in Cuba Roger’s family eventually escapes to the USA where freedom, the American dream and acceptance prove to be more elusive than originally expected. Cast as an outsider almost from the onset, Roger’s personal hell quickly begins to unfold as his family splinters apart due to some major abuse issues. He ends up living in the streets, squatting in abandoned buildings and befriending other budding misfits like himself. It’s through this   grimy lens that Roger gives the reader a glimpse into a seedy world brimming with violence, death, prison, sex, drugs and of course, music. Bonds are formed and Roger finds the unity and family that’s eluded him at home with his band Agnostic Front. However, playing hardcore and paving the way for others doesn’t pay the bills, so Roger has to get creative and find other means to supplement the bands meager income. You’ll have to read the book to get the rest of the story.

You don’t have to be a major Agnostic Front fan to get maximum enjoyment out of this book. What really makes My Riot such a compelling read is the underlying theme that runs throughout, which is one man’s search for individuality, as he gradually works his way toward finding his true self amidst the myriad of obstacles that are constantly put in front of him. Along the way questionable choices and mistakes are made, but the lesson here is that as long you can be true to yourself and your ideals, come out on the other side in one piece, and at the end of the day be comfortable in your own (tattooed) skin, that’s really all that matters.        

By: Ryan Sparks