American Heartbreak are one of those bands, they've been around nearly a decade, are not very well known and then one day you just happen upon them. In my case it was their split single with my ole fave NY glam tarts Toilet Boys back in 2000 that got me interested, and I've been a sort of spectator fan ever since.
Featuring ex Exodus and Jetboy members Michael Butler and Billy Rowe, AH come on more like the latter's old Yaffa fuelled Rock N Roll troop, with the best bits of Cheap Trick, Redd Kross and Tsar thrown in for good measure. And as AH themselves proclaim this is "Arena Rock or Classic Rock Inspired Powerpop" at it's very best, but I'm getting ahead of myself here.
In 1997 AH released a debut EP on Perris called "What You Deserve", which was followed by a debut full album in 2000 on Coldfront. This came in the shape of the (if I'm honest) rather patchy "Postcards From Hell". Soon after came a superb split album with Libertine also on Coldfront, that featured the anthem of a track Postcards From Hell (confused yet?). So in 2003 when a semi live/acoustic album was released back on Perris called "You Will Not Be Getting Paid" I honestly thought it would be the end of the band, as they had seemingly come full circle.
Now here we are in 2006 with a revitalised band signed to the mighty Liquor and Poker label. And it really is like a new band (a bit like Hardcore Superstars recent resurrection if you like) who have found themselves a style they are comfortable with, kicking out 13 tracks of Bubblegum Glam Powerpop that makes you feel so fucking "up" it's unreal.
Of the 13 tracks on offer, 12 are immense Godzilla like glam pop monsters, kicking things off with my personal fave 'Somebody'. This song really should be a massive radio hit, but unfortunately never will be because the music industry sucks, so you need to make it your hit. It is a huge tune that deserves the world to hear it. "Somebody" really does set the scene for the next 11 songs. All catchy with hooks big enough to catch sharks with, especially in the shape of 'Love Your Abuse', 'Fallen Angels' and 'The Girl Who Knows Nothing At All'. All of the usual cool influences are on here, from Kiss to The Wildhearts via UFO (Yup, UFO one of my fave old school bands) but this time around this really is an American Heartbreak CD with the band carving their own sound into solid reference points.
It also has to be said that Rick Parker has done a great production job on this CD and he really has made the most of Lance Boone's vocals who in the past has been one of the reasons I have not really enjoyed complete albums by the band. Now get these fuckers back into the UK to tour so I can see them this time, and also get one of those superb shirts off their website (hint, hint guys).
To sum it all up then, in an era of whinging Emo tinged pop lite being passed off as the future of Rock N Roll this one must not pass you by because it is the HISTORY of Rock N Roll in 48 minutes and 10 seconds.
Great stuff 4 out of 5
by Johnny H.
Visit the American Heartbreak Website