American Head Charge has been on a wild ride for their entire career – from shock rock stunts to label and lineup changes, drug addiction, and even the death of a band member – AHC is still here, still dirty, and still bringing that seedy undercurrent to the spotlight.
I expected Tango Umbrella to embrace the “Sugars of Someday” sound and be filled with catchy Patton influenced hard rock. The first single, “Let All the World Believe” let me know just how mistaken I was. This song is the sum of all their parts – heavy, crunchy riffs, pounding drumming, and vocals that show the aggression and melodic capabilities of Mr. Heacock. This song sets the tone for the whole album. Dirty, sleezy, aggressive, and hooks for days.
Propelled by ferocious drumming and dirty bass during the verses the songs alternates between screaming, slowing down just for a second, and then more aggression.
“Perfectionist”, the third track on the CD, is one of my personal favorites. These guys have refined their song writing and sound. More in the traditional “single” vein this is one of the tracks that will grab you right away and help you want to explore the rest of the release. Heacock sounds picture perfect here and really shows off his amazing singing.
On the more subdued and mid tempoed side, is “Sacred”. It’s not single material but a solid track and really helps spice up the distance between “Perfectionist” and “I Will Have My Day”. Chris Emery shines throughout the whole as the backbone of the band with picture perfect drumming. His playing catapults the songs along.
“A King Among Me” shouldn’t work. It’s just a piano and vocals for 4 minutes. But yet it’s a stellar song because of excellent performances and that ….sleezy dirty vibe that oozes throughout the entire CD. It’s promptly followed up by a banger, “Suffer Elegantly”, another distorted mess with that classic AHC sound. Listen to it and try not to bang your head.
“Prolific Catastrophe” makes great use of the full band, keys, killer guitar work, Chad’s driving bass, and takes you on a journey to a demented soundscape. You’ll enjoy every second of it.
The band is on fire and has something for fans of all their previous releases on Tango Umbrella. Mainstays of the band, Cameron Heacock and Chad Hanks, have righted the ship and make a formidable team along with Karma Cheema, Justin Fowler, Chris Emery, and new comer Ted Hallows. Despite all the losses and member changes American Head Charge not only retains what made them special, but managed to refine their sound and come up with another batch of killer songs.