American Armada

Let's Party

Written by: PP on 23/12/2008 14:46:42

Lagwagon style screeching guitar sound? Check. Breakneck speed chord-based guitars? Yep. Passionately yelling melodically scratchy vocalist in the vein of Smartbomb or early Rise Against? He's there. Intensity of A Wilhelm Scream? You bet. Reviewer tilt? Maximum, as this is more or less the very list of how my favorite bands sound. We're of course talking about punk hardcore and/or melodic punk rock, and Pittsburgh-based American Armada fit that description fuckin' well. So don't expect the most unbiased review here...but that doesn't mean you shouldn't get their debut album "Let's Party" regardless, because it's full of some of the catchiest songs you'll have heard since The Wonder Years' "Get Stoked On It!".

Strictly musically speaking, the band references a long list of the punk scene's favorite bands, starting from Lagwagon and NOFX, going through early Rise Against, Smartbomb, A Wilhelm Scream, Good Riddance, Strike Anywhere without actually sounding like precisely one of them. "Swimming Through Disaster", for instance, sounds kind of like a hybrid between the technical stuff by A Wilhelm Scream and the ferocious all-out punk rock assault by Smartbomb, whereas the more hardcore-based "Johnny Blackout" sounds a little bit like Strike Anywhere had they hung out in New York area for a while. The guitars in "Say Something" hint slightly towards "The Sufferer & The Witness"-era Rise Against, but the chorus is way more singalongable punk rock than the pop choruses Rise Against sports.

The band itself describes their goals as "to write, play, and live out songs that get us through the shitty times and amplify the good ones". And when faced with the melodic bark of their dual-vocals, you can tell that these songs come from the fucking heart. "Workin'" starts out with "Punk In Drublic"-era NOFX styled guitar/bass combo, before breaking into a short verse, an enthusiastic "HERE WE GO!!!" shout, and a ridiculously catchy chorus ("We're not workin' anymore!"). Or how about these lyrics from "Take For Ourselves", another infectious song that's going to carry these guys far: "We'll run these streets, screaming BLOODY MURDER, no one will hear a thing, we'll take for ourselves and to hell with the rest of them, this place is ours tonight". The album is full of moments like these, short taglines that'll super glue into your mind just after one listen.

It is these type of moments that make the difference between a good and a great album; while you might really enjoy listening to a good album, you won't be able to recite lines from more or less every song from it, characteristic to a great album. As the title of the record already suggests, "Let's Party" is perfect to throw on when you wanna just go crazy with some beers with your friends and sing along to some of the catchiest melodic punk rock you'll come across.

Download: Take For Ourselves, Burn This Town, Swimming Through Disaster
For the fans of: Lagwagon, Smartbomb, Strike Anywhere
Listen: Myspace

Release date 12.08.2008
Lock And Key Collective

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