The American Plague - God Bless the American Plague Released October 17th, 2006
Long Live Crime Records
God Bless The American Plague may seem a self-indulgent album title, seemingly favoring their band’s own name, on the surface of it. However, considering they wear their classic rock/classic punk influences on their sleeve, it could be a pat on the ass to predecessors in the genre and a tribute to America’s more rebellious anthems in which The American Plague take several cues from. With a sound that would appeal to fans of The Stooges, Motorhead, and Social Distortion, the band’s sophomore release is a testament that 80’s punk revival with a classic rock flow is as relevant as when Mike Ness released Cheating At Solitaire in ’99.
Sympathetic to the bump and rumble of DIY punk, while perfectly capable of spitting off a decent cover of “Ace of Spades”, The American Plague pull their ten-song soundtrack to dirty bars and jean vests off relatively well. Though fitting safely in Long Live Crime records’ fairly genre-uniform roster (Sparklejet, Cage9), this Tennessee trio really takes their love for rock 'n roll of the past to an all new level. “Sympathy for the King”, opens the album perfectly, displaying The American Plague’s knack for rhythm and unique take on a relatively dated genre. With a rupturing bass/drum combination and an Ed Roland-ish vocal delivery, it’s a surefire standout track. The guitar-based, pop-punk esque “9 Times Out of 10” and the breakneck “Flesh & Bone” are also notable tracks, dissimilar yet showing the band’s relatively diverse musicianship.
Though you won’t have a hard time revisiting certain tracks, tiring aspects about the songwriting in general seem to bleed into each song. They’ve got the compelling rhythm down pat, although such energy needed to sustain your fist pumping in the air is juggled and really never escapes the general song structure we’ve come to know from predecessors. Case and point: “Doubt” really has nothing particularly interesting at all about it. Overdubbed solos mesh uncomfortably in the context of the song’s derivative punk drive, really snuffing any presence of originality.
It’s hard to blame my perception of the album’s falters on my disinterest in teaching new dogs old tricks, but that’s really what it comes down to. God Bless the American Plague is really for those who follow Lemmy’s legacy to the date and have Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Green River sitting next to their record player. Unless you have ties to the previously mentioned bands, The American Plague may not be vying for your attention after all.