Postcards from Hell (Cold Front)
by Scott Hefflon
Check this: Ex-members of Exodus, Jet Boy, Mordred, and the Bay City Rollers formed a band. This here 45-minute CD is the result, and plans include a split 7″ with Electric Frankenstein and a CD split with the Black Halos. While I’m as wary of this as I am of Tommy Lee’s rap metal thing, Methods of Mayhem, I’m very much a fan of certain post-glam “real rock” bands such as the Backyard Babies (with an ex-Hellacopter, and guest appearances by Ginger of The Wildhearts on the cover of Faster Pussycat’s “Babylon” and Michael Monroe, ex-Hanoi Rocks and a solo record I still kinda like) and a handful of others. But if you’re familiar with the metal-gone-punk parody record by Punky Brüster (Strapping Young Lad’s Devin Townsend and friends), you get the joke.
Honestly, American Heartbreak ain’t bad, especially in a world that suddenly thinks Buckcherry is cool. There’re still inklings of metal tucked carefully beneath the bubblegum, and there’s a feeling that you’re bending over for the soap, if you know what I mean. But then again, we all cheered when the Sex Pistols (in any form, at any time) say “You ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” We are such suckers. So I guess you’re a paranoid cynic (and not much fun to hang out with) if you think this and everything else is just another rock’n’roll swindle, but if you don’t question it, hell, you’re just a fuckin’ idiot. So which is worse?
American Heartbreak is straight-forward rock’n’roll – kinda raunchy in a sleek, calculated’n’catchy way – mixing in those punky beats the kids like so much (but remember how Poison’s “Talk Dirty to Me” had a Sex Pistols feel to it?), and yes, there’s a couple tuff ballads/slow dances for the girls, not to mention enough danceable beats to get those mini-skirts a-twirling in whatever suburban rock clubs are left in this dwindling republic.
So where do you stand? (Me, I’ll be at the bar.) While I’m as suspicious of the integrity of this “new rock” stuff as I am about the doctor saying not to worry about that lump on my dick (kidding), it sure as shit’s better than white kids listening to fuckin’ hip hop.