FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH blitzed to popularity, seemingly overnight, with a brand of user-friendly choruses and some 90s inspired Groove influences. The band then embraced the ideology on their second album, minimizing many of their Nu Metal foundations to cut themselves into a relatively straightforward act of Hard Rock mentality and Heavy Metal craftsmanship. Their third album, “American Capitalist” does nothing to screw up this trend.
Ironically, if one plays their second album “War Is The Answer” right next to “American Capitalist” it would be hard to distinguish the two. They’re very similar in style, performance, writing, and production. So much so that if you loved the second album, then this is a must own one too.
That being said, “American Capitalist” shares the same strengths and weaknesses discussed before. The band’s style is still fun and relatively catchy with Ivan Moody’s duel vocals of radio-friendly singing and barking roars (which occasionally shift to spoken word elements on tracks like “Generation Dead”) while the rest of the band follows suit of partnering melody with Groove inspired punches. The riffs don’t quite strike the same impact as previously even on strong tracks like the title song and “Over And Under It” with its swaggering chunking, but the soloing and leads are strengthened for dynamic pushes and pulls. This is under laid with enough drum and bass rhythm work to get the point across, even if both are fairly standard and the drums a bit over triggered.
The band does run a bit into filler ground on the middle parts of the album. It kicks off with great examples of their “tough guy” sound and catchy choruses, but by “The Pride” (and its silly lyrics) the album begins to fade together a bit. The catchy parts stand out with Moody’s vocals highlighting many of the songs (even with hit or miss lyrical content), but the songs run formulaic with ballads thrown in and the same old same old song structures.
Fans of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH will not be disappointed with the bands lacking experimentation or willingness to change with plenty of standard Groove riffs and the occasional radio friendly ballads like “Remember Everything”. It lacks a bit of inspiration as the band caves into the filler doldrums in the middle of the record, but stands strong enough overall to be a decent release.
Songs to check out: “American Capitalist”, “Over And Under It”, “If I Fall”.
(Online January 28, 2012)