Loaded with heavy rock that borders on punk with dashes of metal and gritty blues, both The American Plague and their second album, God Bless The American Plague are best summed up by some of their own lyrics: “What if we stepped out of line / And carved a brand new path?” A strong effort, the Knoxville, Tennessee band delivers the organic feel of kicking back with a beer and enjoying your favorite bar band live, kicking you in the gut like the tang from a good, hot mustard on that beer pretzel you’re chowing down on. The only difference is, substitute heavy melodies for the mustard and the bar band for a CD in the privacy of your own home and you’ve got God Bless The American Plague in a nutshell. Elevating themselves above “average bar band” status, The American Plague uses instrumentation to back up the mood swings of each song’s subject matter—ranging from hopelessness and the danger of complacency to anti-war sentiment—with clanging guitars complimented by rattling basslines before bursting into moments of a throttling jam session on points throughout. Powerful drums take the lead on such tracks as “Sympathy For the King,” packing a mighty punch with thunderous rolls and lightning fills. Lead singer, Jaw’s unique vocal repertoire finishes off a unique sound that separates The American Plague from the overly-neat categorizations set by both radio rockers such as Nickleback and 3 Days Grace and heavy metal with its myriad of categories and sub-genres.
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