Sound — 7
Testosterone-rock is alive and well in the music of Florida based Ambush! The band's latest release American Monster from Hotfoot Records is hardcore/punk in it's purest form, and there is no debating the issue. After a short introduction of what sounds like a mob scene, the band pushes the peddle to the metal and never lets up. The vocals scream and holler with a gut-wrenching snarl, and the abrasive guitar shreds scratch ferociously as the succession of fiery drum beats strike with a mallet's thud. The rage emanating from their infernos is Norma Jean-steeled, and their savagery is Fear Factory-bolted. This is not music for weak stomachs. The clawing puts sweltering welts along the melodic floor and the buzz-saw cutting is death-metal sharp. The bloodcurdling vocals are pernicious, and the rampant chaos is eardrum-splitting. The gang vocals along Sailors Of Sunken Ships create a rally cry, while the maelstrom of tattered frays through Courage emit a ragged voicing which claws it's way across the crispy sun-burnt shreds and craggy edges. The tracks become a bit repetitive, but that is the nature of beast. The vicious tearing, thorny cuts, and manic butchering is all part of hardcore/punk's mystic, and Ambush! adheres to it's tenets perfectly sounding menacing and bloodcurdling gory.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics speak about the injustices that exist in life, which keep people trapped in a vicious circle like in their song Courage. The words are rung in hot coils as lead singer/lyricist Kyle Dischinger protests, In no way can we expect all wounds to heal / Who do we think we are to stand in front of love? / Who do we think we are to defy the stars above? / Honestly ? / No matter race, creed or color / I support love in every form / They call it sin, but true love is bliss. Every track debates the rules which society has established is the truth. Dischinger describes that these rules are foisted on future generations to right the wrong, like in the title track, I dare to speak of treason / I dare to dream of something new / A plan that we can believe in, that we can use to find the truth / We are the hope of a nation that's on its knees / We are the breath of life that is always breathing / We've come so far on nothing but our hearts / We only just begun and we want so much more We are American Monsters, prowling through the streets / We hold the fate of the nation on our own two feet.
Overall Impression — 7
Ambush! plays a brand of hardcore/punk that is very familiar to listeners, but they do it with a genuineness that encourages folks to believe what these guys say. They play close to their influences but occasionally sprout out on their own. Their energy is unrelenting as the serried beats of drummer Kiel Knight and bassist Jonny Teagus tear through the steam bellowing from the guitar burns of Blake Clenney and Grant Fury and blade by the vocal shears of Kyle Dischinger, making for some picture-perfect hardcore. The tracks are motored like a bulldozer, thrashing mercilessly and moving at top speed.