New American Shame

New American Shame

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There's nothing that sounds quite like a the Gibson/Marshall guitar and amplifier combination. If you've ever heard AC/DC, you should be familiar with the particular gritty ringing. New American Shame take those familiar elements and add a touch of their own garage rock melodies on this debut to create colorful, throwback hard rock. Producer/guitarist Jimmy Paulson wisely avoids the compressed, layered guitar sound of '90s hard rock that bears no relationship to the freewheeling musical aesthetic of New American Shame. One-named singer Johnny has an incredibly fierce, high-pitched delivery that's never thin or too clean. Paulson's guitars and Johnny's voice are almost eerily reminiscent of Bon Scott and the Young brothers, but New American Shame have the spirit to pull it off. Unfortunately, the band doesn't have material equal to their high voltage sound. If the songs were better, this would have been one of the most interesting debut's of 1999, but that's not the case. The good news: "What's It to You" will never inspire any serial killings. The bad news: this "Night Prowler" knock-off is representative of a record void of memorable choruses. The riffs are classic, and each member plays and sings with all the rock fury possessed by their early-'80s heroes, but New American Shame lack the material to inspire a good old-fashioned headbanging.

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