American Head Charge. Where have they been? The band feel like they’ve been missing from the rock scene, and this is a very valid point to make. The group, who pretty much pioneered nu-metal and influenced industrial metal to a huge degree, release their first album since ‘The Feeding’ back in 2005. Welcome ‘Tango Umbrella’.
Unfortunately, 2005 was also a big year within the band’s history with the loss of guitarist Bryan Ottosun, who unfortunately died on a tour bus after a drug overdose. This is brought to the front with the song ‘A King Among Men’. Nothing but a beautiful piano is heard, with lead singer Cameron Heacock singing what feels like a eulogy to his best friend. This is a track that needs to be heard even if you’re not planning on hearing the rest of the album, and is radically different from anything else featured. Beauty and true emotion is what comes out.
The rest of the album, however, reverts back to the band’s classic sound, with the tracks bringing a sense of industrial metal with it strongly. Intros such as on the start of ‘Let All The World Believe’ will give a sense of nostalgia to all fans of classic AHC. The band retain a lot of their nu-metal sound when hearing the bass throughout the context of the album. This is predominantly heard on tracks such as ‘Drowning Under Everything’; Chad Hanks carries the track massively, and makes the band have a sense of their 90s beauty.
To give one drawback on the album, it can feel like it lasts for too long in certain sections. Within a sound as defined as AHC, there’s little to do that can break the image from peoples’ minds, especially with a latter track such as ‘Prolific Catastrophe’, just sounding a lot like what is heard previously on the album both stylistically and instrumentally. This can be an annoyance.
The thought of the band releasing a 7 minute epic is something that sounds ridiculous, and comes across exactly what is expected. A repetitive drum beat, little happening instrumentally, and the same repeated bass and guitar lines makes the ending for this album something that must be wished upon to change. ‘When The Time Is Never Right’ should be suggested for its ridiculousness alone, but the boredom that it induces leaves it to be a flat curtain closer.
‘Tango Umbrella’ is certainly weak in places, but with some truly great tracks inbetween. Maybe a little listen on Spotify and picking out the one or two tracks preferred is the best course of action here.
Written by Bradley Cassidy (@bradcassidy170)