Hollywood Undead "American Tragedy" Review — 5 out of 5 stars
Mon, 04 Apr 2011 13:28:54
Hollywood Undead dispense with any pleasantries and go right for the throat on their brand new album, American Tragedy.
It's an approach that serves them very well though as the band's follow-up to their gold-selling debut Swan Songs is a masterpiece in its own right. Instead of breaking and bending to pressures of the zeitgeist or snapping into Swan Songs 2, Hollywood Undead built a darker, deeper, and far deadlier ride this time around. It all starts with a trip downstairs too…
American Tragedy's opener "Been To Hell" grinds from an industrial chug into a hauntingly catchy chorus. J-Dog spits vitriol as the production edges into Downward Spiral territory perfectly complemented by his comrades' verses. "Apologize" is a wiseass bitch-slap to detractors, haters, and posers worldwide. There's an ear to ear shit-eating grin on Danny's face as he perfectly croons, "But we can harmonize, even if we sound like shit." That's the irony. His voice reverberates brilliantly on a song that's bound to get the club popping, while making fun of it. There's wit and wisdom from Charlie Scene on "Comin' In Hot" and a beat that's ready for any dance floor as L.A.'s industrial steam-punk Wu-Tang Clan raps and rolls through one hilarious verbal jab after another. Funny Man's raps still stand out with a hilarious bravado and braggadocio few MCs in any phase of the game can match, and
"I Don't Wanna Die" bleeds with a raw fury reminiscent of early Nine Inch Nails as the refrain "I don't wanna die, so you're gonna have to" rings through the bowels of every city's underbelly. There are two moments that make this album a classic though. The first comes during "Bullet." After an acoustic intro, the song tells a potent and poignant tale of longing for suicide. However, it's the sunniest and catchiest tune on American Tragedy. That's where Hollywood Undead's genius lies—in that dangerous space between unforgettable and unsettling. Johnny 3 Tears rips open his soul much like Jonathan Davis here. However, 3 Tears offers even more catharsis on "Pour Me." It's a tale about the loneliness of boozing and using, but it's got a heavenly hook. In many ways, it's Hollywood Undead's equivalent of Eminem's "Stan"—an evil power ballad that everyone who hears it will feel.
"Tendencies" is a murderous electro rocker that shocks and shakes, but be sure to pick up the deluxe edition in order to hear the ominous elegy for the American Dream—"S.C.A.V.A." The economy's shit. Traditional mores have been raped by reality TV show. There's no guidance from the political infrastructure. However, there's nothing tragic about American Tragedy, and as the world burns, Hollywood Undead are throwing the party to end all parties.
Have you heard American Tragedy yet?
Check out our exclusive video interview with Hollywood Undead here!