When Bush jumped the grunge-rawk bandwagon in 1994, who would have pegged them to be from the land of royalty? Britain has successfully invaded the States since the heydays of the Beatles, yet the game of digging into American soil has remained a trying but challenging endeavor. The latest attempt has come from a London four-piece who appropriately call themselves UnAmerican. Formed in 1997 by former World Party guitarist Steve McEwan, this four-piece molds classic Americana guitars into a sculptured, rhythmic calamity so snarling that their debut self-titled release is rock steady for a new, millennial, down-home style of rock & roll.
Alongside McEwan is lead guitarist Matthew Crozer, bassist Pete Clarke, and drummer Tim Bye. The quartet captures the emotionally pinch-hitting situations surrounding them. The album opener "She's the Bomb" is unusually happy and clear-cut, and McEwan's squealing lead vocals are lighthearted. Swiveling guitars and thumping bass drops are quick and quite similar to the sounds of Collective Soul, Matchbox 20, and Third Eye Blind on songs like "Wicked" and "If This Is the End."
Melodically spiritual, this band seems to be onto something. They aren't the new Brit-pop poster boys, but they're certainly not a new cause for angst rock either. Definitely UnAmerican, in name and sound, they resemble something we've all heard before, but wasn't rock & roll meant to be that way?