ALBUM OF THE MONTH
By: Jeremy Fleischer
American Blackout’s brand of alternative/punk rock will feel immediate familiar to any fans of the genre. The gritty yet melodic vocals, the high ping of a dry snare hit, the driving, aggressive guitars – there are countless bands with this sound, and American Blackout make little effort to personalize the music.
So, why 4 stars for something hardly unique? Well, because American Blackout execute the sound with near perfection and an unapologetic love of the music. Sometimes it’s better to execute something really well than to innovate it just to be different. The band manages to strike that sweet balance of melody and hooks found in pop rock and aggressing and youthful angst of pop punk. This is best exemplified on the track “Pants on Fire.” In sweet harmonizing melody, the chorus sings, “This life was never really meant for me.” A bit melodramatic, no? Well, that’s how it goes with the more pop-infused family of punk rock.
The downside, however, is that without something unique to offer, this band will likely build a strong local following but never really break out. For that to happen, they would need to work harder to stand out, bringing their own take on the sound and a more personal lyrical vision.
Recorded, Mixed, and Mastered by: Rich Veltrop and Glenn Sawyer,
The Spot Studios, Lakewood, CO