American Distress – S/T (CD)

There seems to be a much heavier consideration of rock on this album than the pedigree of each band member here would necessarily lend itself to. In fact, the disc starts off with “Fraudulent Times”, a song that is really influenced by the shredding guitar of the California punk scenes, eliciting hints of Pennywise and Bad Religion even as the gritty vocals try to establish a different sound. Further songs like “Dirty Little Secrets” continue the spastic tempo of the tracks and really make listeners envision a chaotic pit, in which the different constituent parts of the band stand for different pit creatures.

The drummer seems to be more of the person throwing elbows, while the guitars really stand for those who circle pit. “Ill Logic” is the first track that really strikes out on its own from the first few similar-sounding salvos. There seems to be a little more down and dirty attitude to the track that really hearkens back to the first days of rock and roll, even if the song is firmly planted in 2006. The down-tempo style of “Nerve Damage” mixes well with the shrill guitar of the Megadeth school; American Distress really do well in creating music that is ultimately theirs, but will create epiphany moments in listeners. At quite a few times during this disc, one will be like “wow, American Distress sounded like X (Kyuss, Bad Religion, Municipal Waste, whatever).

The band dusts off a Morning Glory classic in “Nowhere To Go”; the slightly crunchier sound and the greater amount of distortion during the track really imbues the song with a different style than in its previous incarnation. “American Distress” really drops the pretense of previous tracks and just has the band come out with a purely punk song; there is little in the way of distortion, just a bunch of people playing fast and putting forth a message to all who want to listen. The second half of this disc has a more brutal sound to it; both “Eternal Bullshit” and “My 3 Guns” come much more out of the DRI traditional than anything resembling traditional punk. American Distress really have done it with this album; they were able to create a disc that captures the fury of their live show. This is only increased in impressiveness when one considers that the band has cut down on all of the x factors associated with the live show.

Top Tracks: Nowhere To Go, Keepsake Too

Rating: 7.0/10

[JMcQ]

American Distress – S/T / 2006 Tent City / 12 Tracks / http://www.tentcityrecords.com/americandistress / http://www.tencityrecords.com / Reviewed 29 January 2006

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