For some bands, following in the footsteps of such luminaries as the MC5, the Stooges, the Damned and the Sex Pistols may seem like a good idea, but trying to live up to them is damn near impossible. Luckily, Amen understands this.
Instead of aping its influences, Amen has drawn heavily from them and molded a sound that is very much its own. An ambitious debut, Amen is a refreshing burst of white noise that has little to do with what is happening in the aggro scene today. The pleasant surprise comes from the music itself a sort of bastardized hard-rock version of the Stooges (ironically, Iggy Pop was originally going to mix this release). Standout tracks include "Coma America," "When a Man Dies a Woman" and "TV Womb." Whereas its message (deeply rooted in the familiar clichéd strains of why the system failed, etc.) is a tad sophomoric at times, surprisingly the band manages to pull the whole thing off.
For you fact-checkers, Amen was discovered and produced by Ross Robinson (Limp Bizkit, Korn, etc.), and is led by Casey Chaos. He is joined by ex-members of Snot and veteran powerhouse drummer Shannon Larkin. Proclaiming itself to be "Uncontrolled music for a controlled society," Amen has seemingly come out of nowhere and delivered a solid debut that holds the promise of greater things.
John Franck writes about music for the Metro Times. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.