Aware of rather than a close follower of New York band, AMERICAN ANYMEN, but experienced in their anti-folk exploits we were hit with overpowering intrigue when learning that their new album saw the band unleashing the angry heart inside within an industrial metal forged vehicle of discontent. That keen curiosity was soon faced with a sonic scorching amid vents of toxic vex and fair to say that our curiosity was quickly and richly rewarded; Cities Changing Names was one surprising and swiftly addictive invasion.
Formed in 1999 initially as a video project architected by Brett Sullivan with friends, AMERICAN ANYMEN soon grew into a collective of musicians with the project subsequently releasing a potent collection of albums, EP’s and singles. Cities Changing Names is the band’s 12th full-length and sees Sullivan joined by drummer James Knoerl and bassist Scott Fragala across the release. As mentioned it also sees the outfit uncaging a new industrial metal direction, one aligned to noise punk ferocity and discontent; the heavier essence which has grown in their sound over time brewed to a tempest of sonic violence and voracious discord.
Cities Changing Names is an assault on the world, challenging and exploring its degeneration including its intimate impact with a sound just as violent yet compelling in its contemplation. Album opening My Vacation immediately descends on the senses with threat and drama, guitars and rhythms a predacious incursion quickly joined by just as irritable vocals, the echo around them only adding to the tension of disagreement. Incessant and ferocious, it proved a bruising and swiftly irresistible adrenaline frenzied start to the release.
The impressive start is only escalated by the following Fentanyl Death Kiss, a track which is slightly more composed in its assault but equally prone to frantic cyclones of sound and emotion. From prowling the listener to blitzing the senses, the track sunk deep beneath the skin, its toxic virulence and violent lures as potent as its cunning restraints while the album’s title track rises like a metallic leviathan to unleash its own relentless harrying. As in all tracks, rhythms stand eye to eye with the listener as they pummel with vocals ripping into the senses and thoughts from a few steps back yet both are like flailing whips in their touch, next up Expert of Nothing epitomising that enjoyment with its controlled acrimony swamped proposal. It too is a predator though, stalking the senses under a blitzkrieg impaired sonic sky.
The punk ‘n’ roll of Contact Sheets stamped its notable imprint on the passions, the song with a whiff of THE DEATH SET meets MAD CAPSULE MARKETS to it is a touch kinder, a flirtatious incitement if one with inherent confrontation courtesy of the pugilistic breath of rhythms with successor Escalator similarly less invasive but carrying its own discordance in emotion and sound. The song is almost waltz like in its swing and dilemma strewn shuffle, Sullivan’s guitar as violin casting webs of enterprise within the atmospheric smog here and throughout the record..
From the barbarous nature and unrelenting invasive murmur of KTKWTKS and the noise punk dance of Die, I Live to the carnivorous impingement of Destroy Interesting we were only dragged deeper into physical disruption and greedy enjoyment, the trio as all within the album unique yet united in the band’s creative drone of noise and boiling enterprise in sound and vocal incitement.
The final pair of The Status Quo is a Paper Tiger, with its hellacious sonic windstorm around lyrical dispute, and Countercultures of the World ensure the album ends as strikingly as it began and continued. The latter is another slab of feral rock ‘n’ roll with deceit in its touch and peeved esurience in its interminable annexation of the senses.
Cities Changing Names invaded every pore and there is no denying we lusted for more; previously AMERICAN ANYMEN certainly lured attention now they are demanding it with debilitating pleasure the reward.
Cities Changing Names is out now via Eclipse Records; available @ https://americananymen.bandcamp.com/album/cities-changing-names
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Pete RingMaster 15/07/2022
Copyright RingMaster Review
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