Jealous Haters Since 1998!
Home | News | Reviews | Day In Rock | Photos | RockNewsWire | Singled Out | Tour Dates/Tix | Feeds
American Heartbreak Review

by Travis Becker

They wear the right t-shirts and play the right guitars. Haircuts, tattoos, and half-naked women on the album cover: American Heartbreak already has a lot going for it before you hear a note of their music. Even if you were blind, though, this band still has something to offer you. Part of the wave of revivalist Metal meets Garage washing over the musical landscape and leaking ever so slightly onto the carpet of the mainstream, American Heartbreak has been around longer than many of their peers, but have released far less music. Only their second full length studio release, American Heartbreak introduces the band to a much wider audience whose radar is now tuned for just these sorts of homing pigeons.

Certain comparisons are, of course, inevitable. Buckcherry leaps immediately to mind. American Heartbreak plays a similar style of hooky, punked-up Eighties Metal. Contemporaries like Beautiful Creatures may play it a little dirtier, but you'd be hard pressed to find anything as catchy as American Heartbreak. The choruses are big and so are the riffs. Arena rock scale informs the sound as well and bands like Styx and Cheap Trick aren't far out of AH's frame of reference. "The Last of the Superheroes (of the 70's) makes that claim pretty much explicit. Other songs like "Somebody", "Things are Looking Up", and "Crawling" all stake the bands place in a sound that's as vintage Seventies as their UFO and Aerosmith rock uniforms.

While the songwriting is probably on par with Buckcherry's, the band lacks a big personality like Josh Todd's to anchor the whole production and draw the listeners attention away from the cheesier moments. It's not a stretch to imagine the band writing many of these songs on the old air guitar. Chunky, AC/DC style riffs give the record a little meat and the loose edge around the sound gives it a Garage feel at times, but the thick coat of production polish mutes a lot of those tendencies. The vocals, while catchy, are probably the shakiness of a record that stands pretty well on its own two legs otherwise. Early on, they have an almost generic, Pop-punk with a head cold feel and never really pick up much grit or personality. It's believable that Axl Rose crawled out of rehab or some gutter somewhere, but no one's going to buy it from American Heartbreak singer, Lance Boone. The sing-along choruses pad things up a bit, which adds to that arena feel. One would imagine that this band is something else entirely in a live setting.

Like most retro rock, though, the guitars steal the show and bring the whole thing home. Solos and dual leads wind in and out of the songs and redeem the soft singing. Guitarist Billy Rowe, in particular, keeps things interesting with some fine acoustic and slide passages. The appalling thing is that the lead guitar is often fairly low in the mix, hovering like a really nice weather balloon underneath the cumulonimbus clouds of vocals and riffing. The production as a whole puzzles a little, in fact. This is just the kind of music that thrives in a shirtless, unhinged mess of sound, but the production team chooses to reign in American Heartbreak and check it to a trot. If they would have let this pony out of the gate, blinders off, it might have been something really special.

This would be the place for some kind of pun about how heartbreaking it is that this band hasn't reached its potential. Given the fact that the band has been together for ten years, it's safe to assume that this sound is most likely it. That being said, taking American Heartbreak for what it is isn't so bad at all. They're a band with a big sound and they play no frills, blue jeans and t-shirts Rock and Roll. And friends, there's nothing wrong with that.

CD Info and Links

American Heartbreak

Label:Liquor and Poker Music
Rating: (bearing in mind that I always spot a band a half a star for naked-womanness on the album art.)

Preview and Purchase This CD Online

Visit the official homepage

More articles for this artist

tell a friend about this review



News Reports
Day in Rock:
Journey's Neal Schon Wants To Work With Steve Perry Again- Serj Tankian Addresses System Of A Down Issues- Jack White Does Rockin' Jam With Pearl Jam- Rolling Stones- more

Day in Pop

Yesterday's Day in Rock: Taylor Swift Reveals Her Mother Has Cancer- Rich Homie Quan Surrenders To Police Over Alleged Nightclub Assault- Justin Bieber Duets With Ariana Grande- Mumford & Sons- more

 Subscribe To Day in Rock


Ladies Only: Jennie Abrahamson- Rachel Garlin- Nneka- More

Album of the Week: Led Zeppelin's When The West Was Won

Karyn Crisis' Gospel Of The Witches - Salem's Wounds

The Blues: John Mayall's Bluesbreakers- Arlen Roth, Mike Henderson Band- Slam Allen

Trauma Interview

December in Red - The Way Out

Battleaxe - Power From the Universe Reissue

SOKO Interview

The Compulsions - Dirty Fun

Rock Reads: Morbid Tales! A Tribute to Celtic Frost

Death Penalty - Death Penalty

On The Record: The Wild Beyond

RockPile: Minutian- Odin's Court- THEO

Michael Ubaldini Interview

Root 66: Cameron Mitchell- Stacy Jones- Greg Shirley


Search for Tickets

Or Browse For Tickets

Today's Rock News

Ozzy Sets Home On Fire

Santana, Neal Schon and Gregg Rolie Reunite at Journey Show

Ted Nugent's Wife Arrested

Iron Maiden Tops Billboard's Hot Tours Chart

Pop Star Fergie Names Son After Guns N' Roses Frontman Axl Rose

Jack White Recording New Songs With The Dead Weather

Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington Reveal EP Details

The Who Releasing Massive Super Deluxe Edition of Tommy

Paul McCartney Talks New Song and His Plans Never To Retire

August Burns Red Announce Special Screening of Documentary

The National Curating Grateful Dead Tribute Album

KISS' Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons Announce Book Signings

Mike Portnoy Reveals Full Progressive Nation At Sea Lineup

Saxon's Biff Byford Explains Evil Look Was Down To Illness

Astrid Kirchherr's Early Beatles Photos To Be Exhibited Next Month

Gene Simmons and Engelbert Humperdinck Footage Goes Online

Red Fang Streaming New Song ' Blood Like Cream' Online

Sammy Hagar Compares Les Paul Guitars To Muscle Cars

What Do Crocheting And Rock 'N' Roll Have In Common? Deap Vally

Classic Rock Going Country

Subscribe to Day in Rock Report by Email

Today's Pop News

North Korea Reportedly Execute 12 Musicians

Jay-Z Releases Holy Grail Video Featuring Justin Timberlake

Big Sean in Fall Out Boy's New Video

Thousands of Justin Timberlake Fans Flood 'Take Back The Night' Filming

Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O Unplugs

Miguel Covers Pink's Just Like A Pill

Eric Church Going In A Different Direction With 'Chief' Follow Up

Kip Moore Has Almost Finished New Album

Juicy J Twerk Tweet Ends Up As Scholarship Competition

Danny Brown's On Stage Sex Act Was Not Planned

Bastille Trace The Best Of British Rock, Including Morrissey's Pompadour

Singled Out: Dulcinea Renee's Pictures Of You

More News

anti Worthy Links
The Screen Door superLOUD A Journal of Musical Things Lloyd Zeffler blog Demolish Mag Nightwatcher's House of Rock CJ Chilvers Deja Voodoo The 1st Five Hard Rock Memorabilia Day in Rock @twitter

New Mystery Book from
antiMusic's Dawn Marie Fichera!

Click Here to Buy T-Shirts!
Click Here to Buy T-Shirts!


Tell a Friend about this page - Contact Us - Privacy - antiMusic Email - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2013 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved. antiMusic works on a free link policy for reprinting of our original articles, click here for details. Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.