American Nightmare
Background Music


4.5
superb

Review

by Dre USER (3 Reviews)
December 30th, 2010 | 15 replies | 6,799 views


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A hardcore anthem.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

You may know them as Give Up The Ghost, or the band whose frontman nearly sued Fallout Boy for lyric copyright infringment. For the rest of us who have treaded the beaten path of hardcore, we knew them as American Nightmare, when multicolor ship tattoos were all the rage. And, when headwalking defined the ideological bandstand upon which one shouted “one, two, *** you!”

Beyond the thicket of genre compartmentalization and away from the cross-labeling cacophony, we find a refreshing approach in Background Music. As the successor to “The Sun Isn’t Getting Any Brighter” EP, this full-length debut rehashes the song “There’s A Black Hole In The Shadow Of The Pru” to fill out cleaner production and a tighter sound. Such a placeholder comes with a heavy price, however, in the form of a reality check into the depths of emotional corrosion.

Sullenness is conditional to the balancing act of emotions vocalist Wes Eisold plunges himself and daring fans into headfirst. The anthemic track “AM/PM” neither adheres to hardcore militant rhetoric nor prances around in cutesy rhyme phrases. Rather, it’s an outburst of exasperations that Eisold shrilly spews with heart-wrenching grace. So it’s no wonder why parts like “just hang your head, just close your eyes, just hide your heart. I believe that when I'm gone my love will live in song,” ring with the familiar bells of solitude ala Ian Curtis or Morrissey.

A chilling effect pervades “Shoplifting In A Ghostown” with an intro that serves as suspenseful backdrop to energetic punk at time-defying speed. It is here we become acquainted with the psyche of Eisold, who fires, “Since February 79' I've O.D.'ed on ‘lonesome’ 22 times”, like an immediate jolt to the brain against thunderous drumbeats and hard-hitting melodic guitar riffs. “Your Arsonist”, “Farewell, and “Hearts” are also among the bullets of bittersweet emotion that ricochet across 11 monumental tracks.

For being a Boston-bred hardcore band featuring ex-Ten Yard Fight’s Tim Cossar, there are no tongue-in-cheek football anthems for straight-edgers to kick field goals to here. So say goodnight to all the playful, lighthearted parodies that brought out the positivity in you. Because the term “background music” has become a parallelism to the darkly deranged, honest architecture A/N have crafted to perfection.

Unlike those who strive to emulate him, Eisold stands clear of formulaic wordplay. He has mastered a soul-driven prose that can turn graveyard skeletons into diamonds in the rough, and every line is a memorable catchphrase. That said, be prepared to be taken through hell and back across a dystopian battlefield that will require a few sessions of remedial therapy. Because after a thorough treatment is done, you’ll need some background music for those silent, sleepless nights.


user ratings (86)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Xenophanes
Emeritus
December 31st 2010



10585 Comments


Erm, it's common courtesy to review only once per day. That way, you aren't bumping the reviews of multiple people off of the main page. That way, everyone gets their fair attention.

Digging: United Nations - The Next Four Years

eternium
December 31st 2010



16304 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wow, did this seriously not have a review already?

cvlts
December 31st 2010



8954 Comments


thanx for reviewin this bro

ShadowRemains
December 31st 2010



20243 Comments


you might want to change that alias before bad things happen, js

Athom
Staff Reviewer
December 31st 2010



17197 Comments


fuck common courtesy this is wes fucking eisold.

TunedAgainst
December 31st 2010



3 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for the tip, I'm a new user. Should I remove the other two and post them the following days?

Athom
Staff Reviewer
December 31st 2010



17197 Comments


nah just keep it in mind from here on out

cvlts
December 31st 2010



8954 Comments


you have been duly warned

wyankeif1337
December 31st 2010



6739 Comments


i did that once, it's all good. just remember for the future.

Blackbelt54
January 10th 2012



4268 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

so do I rate this or the Give Up the Ghost album?

sixthgoldenticket
March 26th 2012



1176 Comments


listened to this once or twice and found it pretty boring, should i try again?

danielito19
November 13th 2012



4359 Comments


I found it pretty boring too

Athom
Staff Reviewer
November 13th 2012



17197 Comments


personally I think this is one of the best hardcore albums to come out of the late 90's/early 2000's scene.

danielito19
November 14th 2012



4359 Comments


I dunno. didn't hear much to it. the vocals rubbed me the wrong way.

pmmets07
January 27th 2013



5847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ambitions? sorry, but i have none



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