I did this 30 Day Song Challenge on Facebook a few weeks ago and one of the categories was “Song You Listen To When You’re Angry” or something like that. At the time I put something from Strapping Young Lad because the ferocity of American Head Charge completely slipped my mind at the time. I should’ve put “All Wrapped Up” by AHC. Of course, a more fitting category then would be “A Song You Listen To While Murdering Someone”. The song is brutal. It doesn’t hurt that the video is “Dexter”-worthy in its’ blood use and features Michael Rooker who essentially reprises his role from Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer.
GodDAMN , this band fucking ruled. They had a debut record (The War of Art) on American recordings released in 2001 and produced by Rick Rubin. Sixteen tracks. All calculated mayhem. Forget the Marilyn Manson-esque posturing and the theatrics. Underneath it all, was a brutal industrialized metal band who had the stuff to take it all. At the center was bassist Chad Banks and vocalist Martin Cock. The Paul Barker and Al Jourgensen of AHC if you will who started the band together in 1996 and were together until the end in 2009. The War Of Art was a tour-de-force. Opener “A Violent Reaction” is a bludgeoning electronic march fueled by anger and crushing riffs. “Shutdown” and “Just So You Know” showcase Martin Cock’s softer side with a croon worthy of Mike Patton while “Americunt Evolving Into Useless Psychic Garbage” and “Seamless” are rage incarnate moving at a pace beyond reason.
They were on the 2001 Ozzfest where Cock was notorious for firing a shotgun during the band’s set. They were on the inaugural (and only) edition of “Pledge of Allegiance” with Slipknot, Mudvayne, Rammstein and System of a Down and then went on to tour with everyone from Otep and Chimaira to Gravity Kills and Ministry. Like I said, they were poised for greatness and certainly had enough opportunity to showcase why.
Follow-up The Feeding was more concise with a lot less of the theatrics. At eleven tracks, it was still as brutal as it’s predecessor even if it was shorter. From the opening rumble of “Loyalty” and “Pledge Allegiance” through the chaotic “Cowards” and mid-tempo closer “To Be Me”, The Feeding was streamlined AHC and a good indication of where they were headed.
And then every cliche in the book hit (Death, drugs, line-up changes, etc…) and the band quietly went away in 2009, leaving the rarities compilation CD/DVD Can’t Stop The Machine (released in 2007) as the band’s final release.
I’m sure you can find their catalog in the bargain bins somewhere and you will definitely get your money’s worth…and then kick yourself you didn’t know about this band sooner.