"The Meaning in Makeup" (Warcon Enterprises; 2005)

Reviewed by Ray Van Horn Jr.

Trix are for kids and so is My American Heart, but by no means should you let that dissuade you from checking these young dudes out. I've seen the emo tag accompanying this band through the press, but they're not emo. Really, they're not. Very rarely do you hear the octave-splicing wailing and weepy overtones associated with modern emo in this band. My American Heart's "The Meaning in Makeup" is simply a pop rocker with shades of punk, shades of metal and shades of alt rock, but above all else, this album is an unpretentious slab of driving rock with classic rock riffs guiding their sparkling choruses. Carefree rock the way it's meant to be.

And I thought Matt Heafy of Trivium had the corner market on remarkable first impressions at age eighteen. Given the mean average age of My American Heart is in the same bracket, they play with confidence and make few, if any mistakes along the way. There's nothing overabundant or extensive about their music. Though you're wont to call these guys emo punks, consider the fact that the main riffs on "In Between" sound hauntingly like Kiss' "Love Her All I Can." Or consider the Guns 'n Roses flavor throughout "Takeover." Or maybe check out the Redd Kross and Kiss-like "Pitsten." At times, My American Heart sound like a more bubblegum version of Fu Manchu, as on "Organ," for instance. 

Whatever take you have on it, "The Meaning in Makeup" is a very listenable debut album from a group of youngbloods who, if they play their cards right, have an opportunity to become a pop rock phenomenon.

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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 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:59:46 -0400.