American Nightmare - We're Down Til We're Underground (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

American Nightmare

We're Down Til We're Underground (2003)

Equal Vision

I'm the wrong person to be reviewing this record. I have never listened to Give Up The Ghost/American Nightmare/American Nothing/A.N./Canadian Daydream/etc. before. Not a single song. All I know about the band is how badly they've gotten fucked with lawsuits, and how they've had to tour their asses off as an unidentifiable band for well over a year.

I also knew they were a hardcore band. I don't listen to very much hardcore.

So when I put this CD into my stereo time and time again, enjoying it more and more, I became confused. Since when do I like this band? This isn't Rainer Maria! This isn't Mates Of State! THIS ISN'T ON POLYVINYL!@#*)&##%

But We're Down Til We're Underground became the little engine that could over here, always showing up in my stereo at home, or in my car on roadtrips, or even in the Macs I so carelessly used while I was at work. In the thirty-one and a half minutes that this album takes up, I can barely find a second of filler. The clever opening track [complete with acoustic guitar] dupes you into a false sense of security before Wes shouts "1 2 3 4!" and GUTG comes screaming out the gate with "Love American." The album continues at a breakneck pace, with the band's intensity never faltering. The breakdowns are more inventive, the melodic parts are more creative, and the singalongs are more potent than almost every other hardcore band I've ever heard.

I know a lot of GUTG's fans are upset with this album, saying it's not as intense as past efforts. While I've never heard their back catalog, I can say this is plenty intense for me. And while you may say "that doesn't take much," [and you'd probably be right], it's still a damn good album. One of the big surprises of the year for me.

Love American
Since Always