Hollywood Undead
American Tragedy


3.0
good

Review

by Michael B. USER (18 Reviews)
April 10th, 2011 | 57 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: They don’t apologise, and that’s just the way it is.

Hollywood Undead are a rather awkward band. Their fusion of rap, hard rock and melodic emo sounds like the soundtrack to a turn-of-the-millennium nostalgia party- not an era most rock fans want to remember, really. Their debut album “Swan Songs” had some good nu-metal throwbacks, but it also came with awful, clichéd attempts at party hip-hop that marred the band from being taken seriously in any respect. Now, three years and a change of singer later, “American Tragedy” is here to take their anthems for the apocalypse after-party back to the disenfranchised masses.

They certainly know how to make an entrance. “Been to Hell” is driven by slamming rhythms and crunching guitars, bristling with aggression perfectly matched by the venomous rapped verses. Fortunately for fans of “Swan Songs”, new singer Danny shares the same melodic sheen in his voice as the departed Deuce. And while Charlie Scene still sounds far too much like Eminem, Johnny 3 Tears retains the edginess to his voice that made him the star of Swan Songs. “Been to Hell” gets the ball rolling well, but then comes the obligatory “*** the haters” song, “Apologise”, and the Hollywood Undead clichés are back in full force.

Aside from Linkin Park channelling lead single “Hear Me Now”, the rest of the first half of “American Tragedy” is marred by the god awful lyrics that made their debut such an uncomfortable listen. “I Don’t Wanna Die” and “My Town” do at least have catchy pop choruses, but then the poorly written verses come back in and ruin it all. “Comin’ in Hot” and the idiotically monikered “Gangsta Sexy” have brilliantly produced music behind them, but the goofball lyrics sap much of the enjoyment from listening to them. It’s difficult to refrain from stopping the album at this point, but hang on in there, things get better.

If the first half of “American Tragedy” is the juvenile, “bitches n’ booze” side of Hollywood Undead, the second half is the more introspective, “we’re all gonna die” side. While the lyrics do stray into Staind-esque moping on occasion, it’s undoubtedly the better facet of the band’s sound. This emo-rap hybrid really should not work, but it does. “Lights Out” echoes “Apologise” in its us-against-the-world vibe, but instead of sounding unnecessarily cocksure, it is instead tetchy and defiant, the expletives actually sounding serious for the first time.

The best moments of “American Tragedy” come in the three song knockout of “Coming Back Down”, “Bullet” and “Levitate”. The former incorporates acoustic guitars and a chorus that wouldn’t sound out of place on an All Time Low album, with a love-lorn summery atmosphere that feels warm and comfortable for the band. “Bullet” is probably the most interesting piece that Hollywood Undead have crafted to date. Meshing cheery melodies and instrumentation against lyrics of a suicidal teenager sounds odd at first, but its carefree vibe evokes the innocence of youth wonderfully.

“Levitate” marks its place in the upper echelon with a truly magnificent chorus that wouldn’t sound out of place on mainstream radio, while Charlie Scene’s final verse is one of the best on the album. Following those three slices of brilliance, “Pour Me”, a self-pitying hangover ballad, sounds somewhat mediocre, but the momentum is hiked right back up with the charging rap-metal of “Tendencies” at the very close. It’s violence and aggression echo “Been to Hell”, making it an effective end to the album.

If Hollywood Undead would only get serious and drop the cheesy hip-hop songs, they would really be on to something. They still have about 2 many members, and still stray into lyrical tedium far too often, but their My Chemical Romance meets Eminem sound is unique in music at the moment. If they could just get their act together and leave their juvenile side behind, they have the potential to make rap rock a powerful force in music again.

Recommended Tracks-
Hear Me Now
Coming Back Down
Bullet
Levitate



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Chart.
2.4
average
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2011


20857 Comments


Haven't heard the album, but this is a really good & informative review Duck. Well done.

marksellsuswallets
April 10th 2011


4848 Comments


Melodic emo?

FearOfTheDuck
April 10th 2011


206 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Melodic emo like Fall Out Boy, as opposed to heavier emo like Senses Fail.
Not that much heavier I know, but the more adjectives the better!

Tyrael
April 10th 2011


20945 Comments


Senses Fail is emo? I thought they were post-hardcore...

Digging: Azealia Banks - Broke With Expensive Taste

FearOfTheDuck
April 10th 2011


206 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

They fall between emo and post-hardcore, for me.

37er00
April 10th 2011


1253 Comments


classic drinking

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2011


28772 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

comin in hot ya herd me

37er00
April 10th 2011


1253 Comments


he herd

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2011


28772 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Well I'm in business... Business of kicking your ass. And let me tell you, business is booming. I'm open for business. Business is giving you the business.... up your butt. Did you hear me?

LepreCon
April 10th 2011


4150 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Album Rating: 3

Wat

Tyrael
April 10th 2011


20945 Comments


It's no Brokencyde that's for sure.

MO
April 10th 2011


18980 Comments


10 bucks says the two piece of shit bands go on tour with eachother

FearOfTheDuck
April 10th 2011


206 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hollywood Undead are vaguely entertaining, if you don't take them seriously. Brokencyde make me want
to commit.

Emim
April 10th 2011


26661 Comments


CANNNN YOU HEARRR MEEEE NOOOOOOOWWWWW




Anyone that takes this band even remotely serious are be doing it wrong.

climactic
April 10th 2011


19822 Comments


Melodic emo like Fall Out Boy, as opposed to heavier emo like Senses Fail.


i'm usually not a genre elitist faggot, but what the fuck.

rasputin
April 10th 2011


14555 Comments


Melodic emo like Fall Out Boy, as opposed to heavier emo like Senses Fail.


yah you have no idea what you're talking about

south_of_heaven 11
April 10th 2011


5438 Comments


Melodic emo like Fall Out Boy, as opposed to heavier emo like Senses Fail


you just opened a door to so much flaming

climactic
April 10th 2011


19822 Comments


no but really, if you accept this band as a complete fucking joke theyre not that bad

BallsToTheWall
April 10th 2011


44782 Comments


Pretty sure i'm gonna get that line tatttoed on my foot.

Digging: Pink Turns Blue - If Two Worlds Kiss

BassDemon333
April 10th 2011


3414 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

WE DON'T APOLOGIZEEEE AND THATS JUST THE WAY IT ISSSSSS



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