American Distress - American Distress (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

American Distress

American Distress (2006)

Tent City

American Distress. The band, the album name, the idea behind the lyrics to each and every song. This album is a multi-faceted assault on so many of the things this punk band finds wrong right now with the American culture and way of life. Not revolutionary ideas by any means, but ideas well grounded in fact, and well presented in a lyrical and musical basis.

Just hearing the razor sharp vocals of Mike PSF let you know that this is a band that absolutely means business. The buzzsaw guitars, the gruff screams, the slick solos and hard-hitting drumming all coalesce in effortless fashion to drive home the band's politics. And trust me when I tell you, they make no qualms about letting their feelings be known right from the outset.

The aptly named "Fraudulent Times" tackles the feeling of mistrust a lot of people get from the government, and society as a whole; "Everything's a copy of a copy, integrity is dead / People don't resist the ruling powers, they sell the space out in their heads / Empty robots sit and stare, police presence is everywhere / Go out shopping, don't ask why / You're being watched by the electric eye." The disdain for consumerism and general paranoia is something many people face on a daily basis, but may not be so quick to want to address. The title track is a rousing proclamation of the fight against greed that's only accented by the ferocity in both the vocals and the music backing it. It feels raw, and it feels authentic, something that a lot of punk these days is sorely lacking.

There's no eyeliner or talk of bleeding here, just some hard-hitting punk rock tunes with an unflappable spirit. "Eternal Bullshit" starts out with some heavily distorted riffing and a frenzied scream, before launching into a bass-driven assault that only intensifies as the seconds on the clock keep ticking and ticking. The vocal delivery does settle down a bit after the opening scream, to a more concise delivery, but none of that hard nosed feel is lost on the listen, not in that song, not in any song on the entire album.

About as fittingly named a band as possible, American Distress have delivered their discontent with a raucous and intense blast of fury that will leave your ears ringing and senses buzzing.