Review Summary: Its so easy to differentiate between acts in such a flooded scene. All it takes is for everyone to stop bullshitting and make room for those who matter.
American Me showcase a refreshing listen in a crowded scene of intense hardcore. Although Rise Records has let loose a dozen new releases in the last few months of the same demeanor (Recon, For The Fallen Dreams, ADBOK), American Me sneaks in with a punishing 19 minutes of raw carnage.
The tough-guy hardcore on this debut is evidently in the vein of its predecessors. However, avoiding the chug-oriented masses in recent months, the group delivers a fresh approach to aggressive beat-downs. "Attribute Of The Strong" welcomes the listener to the field of American Me with a balanced groove and a solid assault on the ears. The rough production automatically triggers interest avoiding the polished production of current Zeuss-produced-quality-deathcore. Although quality production should never be shunned, nu-metal quality in hardcore (recent releases such as "The Respect Issue" and White Chapel's "This Is Exile" come to mind) is often distracting since the majority of the album revolves around pro-tools and leaves the weight of creativity for the computer. "Heat" proves American Me to be in full attendance and no overdubbed gang shouts and explosive analog bass are going to shadow the bands debut.
The musicianship of the quintet is as tight as any other band that spends 10+ months of the year on tour. Full of surprise squealers and guitars bending over backwards alternating from left to right, going back and forth by Phil and Brian Blade, the duo is able to showcase chemistry that hasn't been felt or heard since Converge's Kurt Ballou and Nate Newton premiered their home video footage on "The Long Road Home." A connection such as this develops only through time, shared experience, and an understanding focus of one common goal: CREATE PASSIONATE HARDCORE.
The lyrical content on "Heat" should also be made note of. With emo-psychology seeping into the seams of acts such as Misery Signals, Sky Eats Airplane, and yes, even Bury Your Dead, American Me is able to distance itself from the pack and derive its influence from a variety of topics. "Said Nothing Began Firing" is a perfect example that's based on an ancient office shooting ala-Wild, Wild, West style. Tony Tataje's capability to churn out bellow after bellow shocks even the most advanced listener.
Coming in at just above 20 minutes there's hardly enough time to conceptualize the effort. With each song clocking at or below two minutes its great to see the tracks roll one by one into a snowball masterpiece. From the contagious strolls through tough-guy city and into the depths of DUI HXC, American Me have a terrific tendency to leave a mark.