Five Finger Death Punch

American Capitalist

Written by: PP on 29/01/2012 14:49:02

One internet commenter put it best: "band sounds like a drunken frat boy". It's a brutally accurate description of the kind of music Five Finger Death Punch have been playing for three albums now, "American Capitalist" being the latest one. Others have called it 'redneck metal' for its reliance on a commercial sound that stems from a bastardized version of Pantera's pioneering groove metal, but whatever it is, one thing is for certain: Five Finger Death Punch is for this generation's youth what Slipknot was for mine: a gateway band to harder and heavier music, one that's easy to like for its inherent catchyness but difficult to appreciate due to how dumbed down and stupefying it is.

"American Capitalist" basically continues where "War is The Answer" left off two years ago: simplified, Lamb Of God-influenced musicianship that lends itself perfectly for a macho, muscular sound with plenty of groove in it, blending with arena sized pop-metal choruses that also ooze of confrontational energy. Thought not identical to Disturbed, Mudvayne, Stone Sour or indeed Slipknot, it relies on many of the same elements as its key drivers for the sound. Most of all, FFDP make it extremely easy to get into their music because of a mosh friendly energy that fills the void between the monumental choruses that are the reason why FFDP sold 90,000 copies of this record in its first week of sale. It has also earned FFDP comparisons to Trivium, because where they were once the trendiest band around in metalcore, FFDP are that in groove metal and hard rock, or whatever you feel like specifying their music as.

Like many modern success stories, "American Capitalist" is also front-loaded with mega hits, all filled with ultra-infectious sing alongs and decent enough instrumentation to support it. The second half of the record, then, is a little boring in comparison, but that's not what drags this album down from a solid rating. Nope, it's the absolutely BRAIN DEAD lyricism that the band occasionally comes up with. Consider this example from "The Pride": "Disneyland, White House, JFK and Micky Mouse / John Wayne, Springsteen, Eastwood, James Dean / Coca Cola, Pepsi, Playboy, Text me / NFL, NBA, Brett Favre, King James / I am all American, I am living the dream". Quadruple facepalm.

You would have to question how anybody can enjoy something as idiotic as this, right? And yet they go on to sell almost a hundred thousand records in a week. But some credit must be given where credit is due: FFDP are very much a live band. Because of their aggressive energy and mosh friendly approach to songwriting, their songs are intense and powerful, something that's hard to deny even as a skeptic as the undersigned found out when they last played in Copenhagen. When you combine that with an uncanny ability of writing memorable clean choruses contrasting macho music, you are pretty much guaranteed mainstream commercial success - Slipknot being the prime example. Together, these take away some of the more annoying features of the band, and make them a decent listen overall. "American Capitalist" is probably their best album yet, so don't jump on the hatewagon unnecessarily without making a proper judgment first.


Download: Under And Over It, Coming Down,
For the fans of: Slipknot, Disturbed, Mudvayne, Stone Sour
Listen: Myspace

Release date 11.10.2011
Prospect Park

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