Definitely NOT style over substance.
American Me – III
Back in 2008 a band called American Me released their debut album ‘Heat’, the album was chock full of devastatingly heavy Hardcore tracks and it was a breath of fresh air to the metal scene at that time. I played this album to death back in 2008 and even years later its addictive sound still stands up as a mammoth slice of brutish Hardcore.
2009 saw the band release their second album on Rise Records, ‘Siberian Nightmare Machine’. I personally felt American Me lost their way with this album and the thudding gut punches that they had provided on ‘Heat’ just didn’t seem to sit well on this album. Fast forward 3 years and American Me are back with their new album ‘III’, but would this be a repeat of their last effort or a return to the glory days of ‘Heat’?
Opener ‘Dark Days’ is a menacing build-up before ‘Broken Moral Compass’ neatly joins in on the action. This track has me grinning like a Cheshire cat; this is very reminiscent of the American Me I loved all those years ago. The riffs are deadly but have that catchiness that I remember from the ‘Heat’ days, the rhythms constantly change and the vocals bound from scathing Hardcore screams to gang shouts. Awesome.
Track 3 ‘Submissioner’ see’s the band joined by Acacia Strain frontman Vincent Bennet, if you’re going to try and add more heaviness to a track then the vicious vocals of Vincent Bennett will do it. Sounding like a hybrid of Last Witness and The Acacia Strain, American Me are definitely back on track with this new album.
‘Natural Enemy’ once again shows off the bands forte of switching up tempos and vocal tones, this time with It Prevails vocalist Ian Fike as a guest. The thing I like about American Me is their ability to keep things interesting, sure the genre may be typically formulaic but American Me throw everything but the kitchen sink into each track. I’ve heard so many hardcore bands this year put out monotonous generic albums, so at least American Me are trying to keeps things attention-grabbing.
‘One Free Kill’ cranks up the heavy another level with its sluggish hardcore riffage and visceral vocal attack. Around the 1min 25 mark see’s the band drop into one of the most disgustingly heavy riffs on the album, I can only imagine what desolation this will create in a live environment.
The album finishes on a strong note with the up-tempo ‘The Montreal Screw Job’. Crammed with neck breaking Hardcore riffs and chest pounding grooves this little number has me wanting to get up out of my chair, pull my T.V off the wall and throw it through my bedroom window.
‘III’ is pretty short in length but it delivers more than enough pissed off attitude to make up for it. After a handful of listens I’m really starting to get into it even more, so time will tell if it will ever top the greatness of their debut.
Whilst this album doesn’t quite compete with the similar sounding Last Witness album released earlier this year, its still one you should definitely check out and I’m glad to see American Me are once again firing on all cylinders. Now, I’m away to get that bedroom window replaced……..