American Timebomb – Beat Your Heart Out (CD)

American Timebomb has a wonderful pedigree, with members of The Charlestons, The Stines and The Freedumb Fries forming a band in the hope of playing a Ramones/Screeching Weasel type of punk music. To be honest, versions of tracks that would find their way onto this CD were available for download on the band’s MySpace account for a decent amount of time before the release of this album, and I was not too tremendously impressed. Whether the stuff was re-mastered or if MySpace compresses the music in some unknown way, I am not sure but “Beat Your Heart Out comes out in a very professional way. Something that was always a hallmark of The Freedumb Fries remains during this EP; the devotion to production values, which seemingly few (if any) of the Lancaster bands are concerned with.

This means that on tracks like “Live It Up”, one can actually pick through the entirety of the track and hear the guitar separate from the bass and drums, instead of being a slightly-melodic mess. “Microwave My Brainwave” gets beefed up, being originally a track from the days of The Stines. The intolerance for any sloppy guitar lines or sheer repetition on the track (being that it is only 80 seconds long) is something that really makes the track an improvement over the original. Even on the four tracks of this EP, American Timebomb are able to construct a coherent sound and wonderful transitions between the tracks. However, whether American Timebomb could create an 18-20 track disc without tapping the same well one too many times is something to consider.

There is nothing truly groundbreaking with the music that American Timebomb plays, but if someone is looking for a perfect party-punk act that knows their instruments and can construct a hook-laden song with the best of them, American Timebomb might just be the way to go. One hint about the band’s future is shown by “On The Run”, a track that seems to have a tad more compression than any of the previous tracks on the disc but enjoys a runtime double that of its cousins. Layering is the key thing that makes the track the best on the disc, and really even puts the track higher considering a number of the layers did not translate into the MySpace versions of the song (at least, not manifest in anything easily audible). Check them out live, preferably with a PA that can hold all of the energy that the band can muster.

Top Track: On The Run

Rating: 6.3/10

American Timebomb – Beat Your Heart Out / 2005 Self / 4 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/atimebomb / Reviewed 07 August 2005

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