Friday, 15 February 2008

American Nightmare - Background Music

Despite acknowledging that “Screaming gets you nothing”, Wes Eisold decided, regardless, to pen the lyrics to Background Music, a 24-minute hand-grenade of lovelorn desperation. American Nightmare (now using the moniker Give Up The Ghost) play hardcore in the hard ‘n’ fast tradition, coupling their short, frantic songs with Eisold’s passionate, throaty rasp. His delivery makes words often undistinguishable on first listen but, when accompanied with the lyric sheet, Background Music is a tour de force. You’re not even getting half of it if you don’t listen to the lyrics – behind this album’s incessant power chords and drumbeats lies a lifetime’s worth of upset and frustration. There is the odd Modern Life Is War-esque tale of suburban depression (‘I.C. You Are Feeling Drake’) but the most poignant thing here is Eisold’s stories of heartbreak and unrequieted love. It is something that most of us have been through, and he puts his frustration in such an eloquent way that the listener feels an immediate connection with what he is feeling. He displays a keen sense of wit with such gems as “I took a shot at the world/and I missed” and “If imperfections are illegal/Then you should call the cops/and they should lock me up”. In these lyrics you can hear how many lonely nights he’s had, how many times love has pushed him to the edge, how many times he would have rather been dead. Despite all this depression, you can still hear how much he values the world around him and those close to him in the final stanza of ‘Farewell’: “I've lived through days/I've lived through nights/I've had my loves/I've had my fights./You've got to know, you have my heart.” Background Music is the perfect soundtrack to being young, male and lovesick, and it is nothing short of inspiring.

Download three tracks from this album here.

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