AMERICAN HEARTBREAK - Postcards From Hell / You Will Not Be Getting Paid!

American Heartbreak - Postcards From Hell / You Will Not Be Getting Paid!

31 songs
105:49 minutes
***** ****
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American Heartbreak are an American band, obviously, and although they sound like so L.A., they happen to come from the nearby San Francisco. Postcards From Hell / You Will Not Be Getting Paid! is not really a new album, but a combined release of their debut album and a collection of rarities, to make the waiting time for the next regular album more comfortable. I doubt that many people have heard from this rocking five-piece, so this package can't be seen as a rip-off but rather as a way of introduction to a really cool band. You would have hated them in the mid-Eighties, when glam metal was really hip, but in retrospect, this is just what bands like the Hanoi Rocks, and later Demolition 23, have been doing for years with never that much success but always a lot of fervour.

Especially Postcards From Hell, which was originally released in 2000, is an insanely great rock'n'roll album, combining so many different elements into a homogenous entity that it's hard to know where to start describing their music. Mostly it's punk meeting rock'n'roll, with a huge amount of glam attitude, although they never wimp out. The opener Superstar is short and concise, and could also be found on any kiddie punk album, but somehow here it sounds just more sincere. The following White Girl is pure rock, a song I love to listen to on repeat play. Another highlight is Please Kill Me. It's impossible to write much more about this, as it's the kind of rock'n'roll that comes from the guts and defies academic description. Combine Kiss, Cheap Trick, Hanoi Rocks, Skid Row, Poison, Almighty and any number of old school rock'n'rollers, and you get American Heartbreak. Not really original, but done with conviction, talent and a gift for memorable hooks!

This first CD alone justifies already the purchasing price, but you get as a bonus the 16 tracks album You Will Not Be Getting Paid!, which collects five live songs from the band's last European tour, five acoustic tracks and their remastered debut EP. While the EP itself is really cool, the live concert sounds like a better bootleg, and the acoustic songs, put in the middle of the disc, somehow take the rhythm out of the CD.

If you want to have or need to get an amazing rock'n'roll album, this is the place to start. Not since Demolition 23 ten years ago did rock sound so dirty and spontaneous. Disc 1 earns 9 big points, which is also my global rating, disc 2 by itself would only make it to strong 6 or weak 7 points, but as a bonus, it is more than welcome.

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