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Askew Review 15

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- American Damage (Site) It’s weird- a lot of times when Denis drops off a batch of CDs for me to review, the one that looks the least appealing to me ends up being the one I like best.  It’s happened with Diesel Boy, Ambition Mission, Against Me and Madcap to name a few.  The cover of American Damage didn’t do a helluva lot for me, and when I looked at their press sheet, the photo of these silly cunts trying to look like hard cases actually made me laugh.  I thought maybe it was a joke, but then when they listed their band equipment along with their name and what they played, it seemed like these fuckers really might be taking themselves a bit too seriously.  So I thought, “Perfect!  Against all odds I bet I’ll love this.”  Wrong.  These 11 cuts make me think that Freedom Under X-Ray (or FUX as they sometimes refer to themselves) were following a whole host of cliches they figured would make them rock stars.  Tired riffs, some hackneyed lyrics (to be fair, not all the words are like this, but enough are to get on my tits), and a liberal dose of ‘80s hair metal sensibilities all made me wince.  Still, there was something about the enthusiasm underneath it all that was sort of endearing.  Then I heard their cringe-inducing, damnable cover of The Living End’s excellent “Prisoner of Society” (and a big boo to ‘em for not even crediting The Living End as the original songwriters).  They completely managed to suck all the vibrancy out of it AND cheese it up with highly unnecessary screaming guitar leads.  What a fuckin’ trainwreck.  The last 2 songs, “Don’t Tell Me” and “Freedom,” had good energy and really were all right, but by this time, it was way too little too late. –Ben Hunter



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