By Brian Tucker
There’s easily a list to be made of loud, hard hitting metal albums to play when you’re pissed off. Most would accompany a coarse and negative mood, reminding someone they’re not alone in being mad at the world. But then there’s another list, albeit shorter, to make of albums that are heavy enough to lay your bad mood waste.
ILM’s American Americans‘ self-titled debut would be on it. Its eight songs are scorching and scarred enough to exhaust you after listening all the way through. Fans of screamo power (and scattered cookie monster) vocals will enjoy the hard rock meets heavy metal album. There have only been a few albums I’ve heard that kind of tired me out in the process, reminding me there’s someone madder, more pissed off, more explosive than you are in the moment.
Recorded by Worth Weaver at Leland’s Red Room Recordings, American Americans is a powerful album. It mostly punches hard and quick but can occasionally wander off into interesting musical directions, namely on the opening of “Diamond Deep.” Its production is crisp and damning, dagger deep and bruising. The album is almost entirely comprised of material approached with a scorched earth policy, opening with the sharp, whip cracking “Master Blaster.”
There’s an unleashed energy and dangerous vibe to songs (the only one that comes close to taking a breather is the seven minute “B.T.I.L.V.”) and there’s not one shorter than four minutes. It’s pummeling as a studio recording and must be devilish as a live performance, both in strength and vocal delivery. The band’s singer delivers a witchy, bedeviled performance and will occasionally depart for warmer, calming vocals. He’s got a great voice and it would be interesting to hear more songs done that way, especially so given the all the teeth in those lyrics.