Jim Beam And The American Dream
posted on 9/2007 By:
Okay, let’s get something straight here. First of all, don’t make up a genre to describe your band. Please. We have enough bullshit pseudo-composite styles to deal with already, so please PLEASE don’t throw gasoline on the fire. This is akin to giving yourself a nickname, and you will look like a douchebag. Secondly, if you for some reason absolutely feel the need to make up your own personal genre, at least try to make it fit your sound. If you fuck this part up…well, suffice to say “douchebag” only begins to cover it as a descriptor. Upside pull three strikes on this one. They’ve manufactured the title “Texas party metal” for themselves, but Jim Beam and the American Dream sounds only vaguely Texan, fails to incite parties, and doesn’t even begin to approach metal in heaviness or intensity. Instead, this album is a tedious exercise in pseudo-bluesy, relentlessly commercial, and generally gutless riff rock.
Here’s my problem. When I think of Texas and metal bands, there’s a certain defunct group that starts with P and ends with antera who spring promptly to mind. Said band was a kidney punch to the mainstream at a time when heavy metal’s popularity was waxing thin and one of the more respected metal acts in the genre’s canon. Upside are like the exact inverse. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that these dudes sorta look like pussies pumping out Jet-soundalike hook vehicle songs and then propagating an image of themselves as gritty, badass rockers who will drink your booze, murder your emo pal and fuck your girlfriend or whatever. Now, they’re pretty good musicians, so the music is tight and professional sounding if nothing else, and occasionally they’ll connect with some decent, groovy riffage (“Flatline,” “Does This Make Me Look Dead”). But just when things are looking up, out comes the pop punk vocal harmonies (“Monday”), or worse yet, a power ballad (“Anchor”), and I’m right back to wishing Upside’s fingers would fall off.
This band is apparently breaking up. As you might guess, this does not much bother me. Admittedly, modern radio-oriented rock music generally makes my skin crawl, so I might not exactly be the target audience, but I feel pretty comfortable saying this shit is total weaksauce anyway. Upside fit right in alongside the rest of the increasingly crappy Tribunal Records stable, so if the latest from Since the Day or Her Candane are (totally) rocking your world (brahdude), you might dig this. Otherwise steer the fuck clear.
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