If it feels like forever since Boston hardcore mob American Nightmare last left an imprint on you, that’s because it kind of has been. In the last 14 years the quartet have been through break ups, name changes, and reforms to name a few, but alas – a decade and a half after releasing their sophomore record We’re Down Till We’re Underground and the hardcore punks are back with a new, self-titled record.
It’s a record that charges its way through 20 minutes worth of unrelenting pace, you barely get a second to stop and smell the roses, maybe that’s the whole point. The slicing guitar work of album opener ‘The World Is Blue’ let’s you know exactly where you are, welcome back to the madhouse.
The frantic ‘American Death’ and ‘Lower Than Life’ reveal a picturesque surrounding of what you remember loving about the band, total reckless abandon in their carnage like tones. It’s a welcome reminder hardcore punk hasn’t quite died its death yet, and American Nightmare seem set on keeping it going for the foreseeable future.
There’s nothing throughout the record that you can expect to open new doors for American Nightmare, and in fairness, that’s not what this album is for. This self-titled record is for the AN purists, the fans who felt they went away too soon (there’s a lot of them) and this audience has no reason to be any less than pleased with the 100mph pace that the record seems to throw at you for a majority of its play.
For a band that have very much been out of the limelight for a long time, it’s weird that all it takes is 20 minutes for American Nightmare to re-capture the chaos that made them such a cult hit in the early 2000’s. This self-titled record isn’t going to shoot the band back to their peak relevance, but it’s a cute blend of hardcore and punk that will give existing fans something that probably wasn’t worth waiting 15 years for, but is certainly enough to fill a void for now.