Review Summary: My American Heart struggles to put themselves out in the current musical world with an album that does not do any attention-grabbing.
My American Heart is a rock band that combines the new fad of emo-ish rock with some catchy pop hooks. Hailing from San Diego, California, the band has remained under the radar since their creation in 2001. Their debut self-titled EP did not attract but so much attention, as it was their 2004 release The Meaning In Makeup
that began to garner some attention for the band. My American Heart’s sound is focused mainly on the two guitarists, Jesse Barrera and Matt VanGasbeck, with the rhythm section being mostly an item to fill in the sound for the vocals and guitars. Although the band creates a decent sound that sounds fairly complete, My American Heart’s biggest issue lies in the fact that they sound like your average, stereotypical “emo” band.
You know it is usually a problem when a band’s sound can be summed up in one song. There are exceptions, though, some bands on the more progressive side of the spectrum can have many different dynamics added to a song that gives just one track many different faces, instead of just one overall feel. My American Heart, however, is not quite talented enough to do that. The main track, The Process
is the defining song for the band. After one listen of the song, the listener can easily expect some poppy guitar riffs with the stereotypical whiny voice dancing around every part of the song. While The Process in itself is a good song, it is nearly impossible to write an entirely good album with a generic guitar section, a rhythm section that never truly adds anything new to the music, and a vocalist who has no distinct sound.
As one continues to listen through the album, it can be easily noticed that every song seems to follow a generic pattern. The main theme of the song is a always a generic power chord based riff that occasionally gets a lead tossed over it, and the ever whiny vocals that do not help anything. While there are many bands who succeed while having the same old sound over and over again, the one that those bands are able to do is write catchy vocal melodies. This is where My American Heart truly falters, Larry Soliman’s consistently whiny voice matched up with bland melodies do not create an attention-grabbing listening experience.
But The Process is not the only song where My American Heart puts their potential. So many albums start of strong and finish up with fillers to close the album, but My American Heart puts their musical talent to use on a few tracks to finish everything out instead of starting it off. The Keys to My Organ
is one of the best tracks on the album, a dark, moody rocker in which the guitars combine to mix things up with some fitting leads and timely octave chords that balance perfectly with the strongest vocal melodies on the album. The two closers also provide a nice listen, with Poison
providing some of the better guitar riffs on the album, and The Takeover
being another dark rocker which successfully executes the generic sound that the rest of the album is stricken with.
Although My American Heart is an up and coming band who may be poised for some success, they still have a long ways to go before they can ranked among the bands who currently define the ‘scene’ today. Bland leads, rhythm, and vocals do not make up a strong album, although the band does show potential on certain tracks. Unless My American Heart begins to mix things up and add in some previously unused elements to their sound, they will become just another band who fades away along with their current musical scene.