Saving Abel

Miss America

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With their second album, Miss America, Saving Abel raise the immortal question: is misogyny easier to swallow when it’s softer? Certainly, it’s somewhat easier to miss Saving Abel’s ugliness -- how the good girls are “Angels Without Wings,” the bad ones are sleazy, stupid starlets on the prowl in Hollywood, the kind that’s “not much for talking/but you’re hot as hell” and it doesn’t really matter that “I’m not in love” because “the sex is good” -- because their power chords are muted and frontman Jared Weeks isn’t proud of his lunkheadness the way, say, Chad Kroeger is. No, Saving Abel’s comparatively light touch makes it easier to ignore the sexism that roils underneath the surface of Miss America, whose rabble-rousing title cut also serves to throw off the scent, but perhaps that makes them more insidious, because their soft spin on active rock can worm its way into the head, particularly when they revamp STP licks like they do on “Bloody Sunday.” So call it a draw: as music, Miss America is a bit easier to take than much of its ilk, but that only makes the message more odious.

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