Let's be honest: None of us really ever thought it would come to this. Back when American Bang first got signed — back when the earth's mantle was cooling and there was more than one Golden Girl still alive — it might have seemed like a possibility. But those were simpler times. Back then, it seemed like half the lineup at a given 8 off 8th was walking away with demo deals every week, and they were handing out major label contracts in the bathroom of the Gold Rush — or at least snorting cocaine with major label contracts. Either way, it was an exciting time to be a musician and a music fan here in Music City, which we all know is not always the case.
Since then, the music industry has contracted, a victim of both market forces and its own idiocy. Acts that thought they were in like Flynn after walking out of Mercy Lounge with a beer-soaked napkin — that turned out to be a binding legal agreement — have found themselves up shit's creek without a paddle. The money that was being dumped by the truckload into aspiring young acts that were pre-destined to fail — this is an industry with less than a 10 percent success rate, and that's on good day — has dried up.
Which is why it's still a shock that, yes, there really is an actual American Bang record available on an actual major label — though frankly it's more of a surprise that there still are major labels, but that's a discussion for another time. Somehow, after years in development purgatory with only the occasional, omnipresent ad campaign to remind us that they were still a going interest, American Bang have emerged not only unscathed but — in the most shocking turn of events — ready to hit the ground running, with a stunning debut in tow.
Let's be clear: This is a commercial rock record. There's no two ways about it. There is no 18-minute psychedelic freak-out, no electro-glitch, no lo-fi or glo-fi production, no soft-and-sensitive singer-songwriter drivel — this is a rock record for people who aren't afraid to admit they like things other people have heard of. And in that regard, it is pretty damn good. Wait, no — it's really great when you sidle it up next to the acts currently ruling the radio waves. Seriously, as of this writing, both Linkin Park and Disturbed are in the Top 5, again. (WTF, America? Haven't we suffered enough?)
There might be moments on American Bang's self-titled debut that wander too close to the active-rock power ballad, but Jaren and the boys' montage-rock stands a head above Avenged Sevenfold or Shinedown any day. American Bang mix classic Southern rock style — think Skynyrd, Tom Petty, Black Crowes — classic Southern alternative —Toadies, Drivin' N Cryin', maybe a touch of Better Than Ezra — and a tinge of the Kings of Leon worship they pioneered way, way, way before the rest of the world caught on to the Brothers Followill. And it works. While I might prefer they become the Foghat this generation so desperately needs, it's hard to argue with the quality of the pop tunes, the range of appeal and overall stellar execution on American Bang's debut.
And let's be honest — it's nice just to know that AB's debut exists, isn't it? Maybe there's hope for us yet.
This post just introduced me to Justice Yeldham. Holy shit.
Never heard of any of these artists?
Awesome!Love everything Jerry puts out. Definitely check out the Tue Mommies bandcamp for more golden…
the no droning rule is fucking dumb
"I love the smell of napalm in the morning...wait, what? That's not napalm??!"