AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE

"The Feeding" (DRT Entertainment; 2005)

Reviewed by Ray Van Horn, Jr.

What's cool when you've come from one scene to see a similar one take shape is to enjoy the by-products that mature beneath your veteran eyes. Case in point is lunatic fringe metal meisters American Head Charge. Though they've only been a band for a few years, American Head Charge possesses the confidence of a band that's been in the game longer than what shows on paper. Following up their 2001 debut album, "The War of Art," American Head Charge unleashes an album full of diversity. Well worth the wait, "The Feeding" is a free-for-all frenzied smorgasbord of rock-out insanity that is sure to please hard rock fans from all walks of life. After all, American Head Charge seemingly wants to lure as many to their crazed flock as possible.

"Loyalty" lumbers out with an odd blend of Primus verse licks and Marilyn Manson stomp choruses, and that's still not summarizing the track accurately. Martin Cock, who pulls diversified voices from his trick bag esophagus, sounds like Brandon Boyd of Incubus for awhile, but don't get used to it. Cock struts his shit with impressive grace and savagery to whatever moment his band calls for. 

Meanwhile, "Pledge Allegiance" and "Cowards" groove forward with hellagood psychotic rockery that calls to mind the metal feelgoodness of Snot mixed with hillbilly huckstery that make these tracks as fun as a game of Can-You-Take-It, Texas Chili Version. 

If you've tried to figure out a pattern to American Head Charge by now, forget it. "Ridicule" will throw you off with its Korn and Mushroomhead-esque riffage even as the song tricks itself with a grimy breakdown that changes yet again towards an alt-rock sound before surrendering to the monster chords that crush this sucker. Priest riffs ala the "Painkiller" era (think "Touch of Evil") chew the cud out of "Take What I've Taken" as Martin Cock yelps his meanest Lynn Strait; be ready as the bridge takes on an out-of-left-field Southern rock drawl that is clever as all get out. "Dirty" trades between second and fourth gears but keeps a slinky ride with its fist-pumping choruses preceded by adrenalized bridge work. Remind yourself to be prepared; American Head Charge play by no rules, and that's all to the good.

"Leave Me Alone," "Fiend" and "Erratic" are the songs Korn has been scraping around at their bloody stumps to find while helplessly recording cover songs in the interim, even as "Walk Away" captures the aquatic guitars of Korn's Munky and Head, the devilish verse tantalization of Marilyn Manson, and then a blindsiding clean chorus methodology probably at home in any pop metal crew. As if to drive home a tongue-in-cheek point, the band rounds out "The Feeding" with an overtly gimmicky screamo jam, "To Be Me." If this isn't a joke, that's too bad because it rings brilliantly like one.

The Feeding is one of those rare recordings where each song is a separate beast from the one preceding it, never dull, always challenging itself to its filthiest capacity. To break it down proper, American Head Charge is like a piece of ass you've been dying to get into and you'll want seconds, even if they're sloppy.

For more information, please visit http://www.headcharge.com

"The War of Art" (American Recordings; 2001)

Reviewed by Snidermann

"War of Art," by American Head Charge, is one hour plus of blistering, mind blowing, molten metal. Song after song after song is nothing less than a pure metal experience. American Head Charge are one of the best all around new (not "nu") metal bands I have heard recently.  Each song is different, using a wide and varied musical expression that still manages to kick you squarely in the ass each and every time you spin the CD.

The only flaw I can see here is that sometimes the lyrics tend to get a little repetitive and that redundancy sometimes detracts from the band's power. Still, this shit is real and American Head Charge is fucking killer! It doesn't hurt that longtime Slayer producer Rick Rubin served as producer here as well.

For more information, please visit http://www.headcharge.com

"Trepanation" (Independent; 1999)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

"Trepanation" was released before American Head Charge signed to American Recordings. This album contains the original versions of "Reach & Touch," "Seamless," "Never Get Caught" and "Pushing the Envelope."

Searching for this rarity online has found it going for as much as $250.00 for a new copy and $125.00 for a used one, giving the term "jewel case" new meaning. (Rabid fans who want to buy my copy can contact me at jeff@roughedge.com). 

On "Trepanation," AHC display everything that makes them a leader in this genre. The drums just smash, the guitars hammer and flow in the same vein as Rammstein and the vocals are a combination sing / scream fest.

Itís a hour of solid brutality. I dare anyone to soak it in and not be permeated with its infectious groves. Each song has monster stomping drums, samples, and metal guitar that might cause your hair to fall out. The bass will rumble the filings in your teeth as well.

With all that energy poured into every song, "Trepanation" wore me out just listening to it. I'm sure a few mushroom clouds were seen in the area when this disc was recorded.

"When I Failed" sounds like Alice in Chains while "To Taste Acid" has a sample from Willy Wonka(!). The solo here is blistering. Each and every song is different; I can't recommend just one or two.

Liner notes properly cite samples pulled from movies and half the fun is calling out the samples and where they came from. 

American Head Charge: Chad Hanks - bass; Martin Cock - vocals; Peter Harmon - drums; David Rogers - guitar; Christopher Emery - keyboards, samplers.

For more information, check out http://www.headcharge.com.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09 Apr 2017 12:09:58 -0400.