Spin #83 : Five Finger Death Punch : American Capitalist
SUNDAY DROP - SPIN #83
Welcome to our 83rd Sunday drop from the R'nR with Rylo collection! I had fun last week with our Guest Spin Sundays and hope to do more of those in the coming months, but this week we spin the next choice from our very own collection. This Sunday, we have chosen 'American Capitalist' by Five Finger Death Punch. A band that cops a lot of stick for no real reason other than, people have chosen them as the Nickelback of the Metal world for some reason. Also, not sure how it started with Nickelback being hated too but I will leave that for another day. I was introduced to 5FDP when they were announced as the support band for Black Sabbath's final tour. Sadly, Ivan Moody was in hospital at the time and the band pulled out of the tour. I've already mentioned the replacement support band - Rival Sons and how much I like them, previously in our Spin#81.
Although I never got to see them perform live, I did get sucked into their catalogue of music and really enjoyed what I heard. 'American Capitalist' and 'They Way of the Fist' were the two standouts and I felt that I had to add them to the collection. I'm sure that I will add the other ones to our collection in the future too. I think for this spin, I will place it on the turntable in the loungin (word our children say for lounge room) and get the children involved. There are a couple of songs that I can picture their smiling faces jumping around too. Doing this on a weekly basis has really helped me give our collection some love and attention. It's a nice feeling to spend some quality time with an album and hold it in your hands as you listen to every note. You start to link certain albums or songs to moments in your life and is very rewarding to spend a whole week with an album.
I didn't get to mention it earlier, because the concert was on a Tuesday, but Night Kat Kiz and I went with my sister and her husband to see Ghost perform their first headline show in Australia. It was everything I expected from a band of their stature. Ghost have become such a juggernaut now that the next time they visit they will have even more people coming to see them. The banter between the Ghouls and Papa Emeritus IV was funny and they have such a point perfect show now. Everyone expects Papa IV to be dethroned soon and it might have been the last tour with this character leading the congregation. They are back in the studio soon writing the follow up album to 'Impera' and as a fan, I can't wait. Papa IV always tries to please the audience when performing live and will say, "I want everyone in the audience to love this so much that it tickles you deep down in your taints". So Papa IV, after that Sydney performance on Tuesday last week, consider our "taints tickled".
Image: Chris Kael (bass guitar), Ivan Moody (vocals), Jason Hook (guitar), Jeremy Spencer (drums) and Zoltan Bathory (rhythm guitar)
That's enough about that. It's time to #dropthestylus on 'American Capitalist' and get ready to be pumped up in your loungerooms or wherever you are listening to this album.
If you think the right mind set to have is prioritising profits, encouraging selfishness and greed, then you can understand the first song 'AMERICAN CAPITALIST'. Is it embracing the cultural belief that American Capitalism is the reason for the countries success or is it making fun of that very reason. Hard to say really, but as an album title and lead off song, it draws you in. A lot of critics out there say that 5FDP songs are too repetitive or too basic to be successful. Have they not heard of AC/DC??!?! I know as a fan of metal and rock that sometimes you want your guitar chords heavy, your drums blasting through your body and the vocals relatable. If that is wrong, then 5FDP do wrong so very right. One of their biggest draw cards is the combination of relatable lyrics and electrifying musicianship across their songs. If this is the first album of 5FDP that you have been exposed too, then sit back and enjoy it.
Second track on the album is one of their biggest songs and it reached number #5 on the local charts back in 2011. It also helped this album sell enough records to be awarded Platinum status. 'UNDER AND OVER IT' is the song that gets you up on your feet if you are sitting down and it was funny watching our children react to the heavy beat of Spencer's drums and Kael's bass guitar. Sometimes people read too much into what is said online and this track is a response to all of those haters. As I get older, I do sit back and absorb what is going on around me more often than not. It gives me time to listen and process how I need to respond, react or stay silent. I'm confident in my own skin and tough enough to not worry what others think of me. I'm here to have a happy life and be surrounded by like minded family and friends, so that is how I'm choosing to have my mind focused on. The stylus is moving fast along the album now and its easy to assume that it's spinning quicker with all the energy and aggression coming from the speakers. I do believe that when I first heard this album that I was looking for an outlet and related more to the music. Maybe even disliked a couple of irrelevant people in my life at the time and used music to fuel and focus my anger. Now that I don't have all that energy to spend on negativity, I think the songs have less of an impact on me when I listen to the album.
Whenever I hear the title of this song, I think of a pride of lions roaming around Africa. When it comes to the meaning of this song, 'THE PRIDE' is more about the people, industries, business or brands that have bought into the greed of this world. Have they had success? Yes, but at what cost. Is this song saying that they are all apart of a collective known as 'THE PRIDE'? Maybe. I am a Cavs fan and Green Bay fan, so to hear the lyrics of "NFL, NBA, Brett Favre, King James" was very cool when I first heard this track. The lyrics of Moody are fast without feeling like you are listening to straight-up hip hop but slow enough to incorporate nicely into a rock/metal song. Are you willing to sell your soul for fame and money and become a member of the pride?
Possibly my favourite song comes up next on Side A in the form of 'COMING DOWN'. I like the meaning behind the reason for this song and can really hear the emotion in his vocals. The band paired up with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline with this song about teen suicide, creating awareness and recognising that a lot of teens (and people) are doing it tough. This is back in 2011 remember and things have only become more bleak now due to world events. I like the pace of this song compared to the pure-energy-rage of the opening three tracks. There is a sadness behind the vocals and it makes me want to sing this one out loud to be honest. Lyrics from this song that I like are, "It's caving in around me, What I thought was solid ground. I tried to look the other way, but I couldn't turn around. It's okay for you to hate me, For all the things I've done. I've made a few mistakes, but I'm not the only one". If you tend to like heavy riffs mixed with ballad style vocals, then I think this is the album and band for you.
I enjoy the next song that the stylus works it way through called 'MENACE', because I feel that it has one of the best chorus lines on the album. Zoltan Bathory (one of the best names ever if you ask me in the world of music) absolutely shreds. Moody is commanding on the mic when he sings, "I'm tired of trying to please the world that spins around me (Why?). This time, I'm doing it for me and me alone (All for me). I don't need anyone—don't think I ever did, Not trying to be selfish—just doing what I know. I'm a menace". Self-love and self-worth - similar, but not the same thing are very important to have. Be confident in your own body and that confidence will become infectious (in a good way) to others around you. This song just oozes confidence and is highly enjoyable to air drum along with. If I was playing this one on an actual kit, I would think that my foot would fall off or seize up - Damn Spencer!
The last song on Side A before we have to flip the dark green LP over is called 'GENERATION DEAD'. This song is really about the next Generations and their reliance on technology, to the point they become a dead Generation - Zombies who forget to live life outside. I love reading a book and spinning a record but I make sure that we take our children outside when the weather is nice, instead of letting them watch television. I've seen how they behave when they watch some television compared to without and I can see their creativity and mood improve when they choose toys over television. "It's the world I've grown to know,
Unforgiving and so cold. Take it away, take it away I don't want it. It's a life I'm forced to live, I've got nothing more to give. Take it away, take it away. I don't want it anymore. Generation Dead". I also make sure that we keep up with the times and technology that may offer value to our household and steer clear of technology that won't. Have a quick break or make yourself another cuppa as I flip over the LP and see where our children have gone.
Just as the first song on Side B suggests, we are 'BACK FOR MORE'. I remember listening to this song when going through my studies back in 2013. It was very uplifting when singing, "It's do or die, time to settle the score. Gotta give it all you got and then you give it some more. There will be blood, You gotta fight till you break. Talk a lot of trash, Now step up to the plate". If you are searching for some motivational music at the gym or on your next road run, pick a couple of these songs. They have high energy coursing through most tracks, that pretty much makes your legs run themselves (well I wish but you understand what I'm saying).
The stylus moves hypnotically onto the second song, 'REMEMBER EVERYTHING'. It is a slower song with a lot of pain behind the words. Huge song that was very successful for 5FDP from this album. The protagonist is singing to his family and pleading for forgiveness for whatever happened. "It's a long and lonely road, when you know you walk alone. If I could hold back the rain, would you numb the pain? 'Cause I remember everything. If I could help you forget, would you take my regrets?" - love those lyrics by Moody as he sings them. This song has more of that acoustic sound that the band does well in-order to break up the heavy track listing. Our children make us laugh so much and it hasn't stopped this week. I was reading them 'Cat in the Hat' and purposely leaving out words to see if they would finish the sentences. I got to a point where our son (K) was answering very short and almost frustrated with the manner I was reading the children's book. I asked him what was wrong and he responded with, "Dad, you need to read a lot better". I smiled and laughed a little bit at that and made sure to read flawlessly for the remainder of the book. Such a cheeky devil.
I'm hoping that there is a big sale on albums soon where they are 40-50% off and I can purchase a lot. I know it won't happen but I would add all of 5FDP's discography in an instant. 'WICKED WAYS' has the perfect blend of higher tempo, easy lyrics to sing too and foot tapping. I don't know another band that sounds like these guys and that's such a refreshing thing. So what do you think of 'American Capitalist' so far? Even though there are stronger songs on the album than 'WICKED WAYS', it isn't a bad track and definitely don't feel that there is any filler songs. 'IF I FALL' is up next and was a close track for favourite song on the album. It is my favourite song on Side B at least and I don't really know why. If it comes on during a car trip or the radio station, it always make me turn it up louder in order to sing along with it. The softer vocals at the end lull you into a false sense of security before Moody screams back at you.
Second last song on the album and last song that isn't a remix is called '100 WAYS TO HATE'. It's a pure diss track aimed at whoever Moody and the band wrote it about. Someone really pissed them off and if you follow along with the lyrics on this one, you will be shocked just how much hatred that they have. If you are currently upset at someone and need a song to sing in order to get all your rage out, then pick this one. The last track on the album is actually a remix of 'THE PRIDE', but I won't review that one. I prefer the original that appears earlier on the album and not sure why they felt this was needed for the vinyl pressing. Another Sunday has come and gone and hopefully everyone has had a relaxing weekend. I said it on the social post on Friday night, but another Congratulations to B & L on your wedding - wishing you all the best.
R'nR with Rylo rolls on and even though I'm away next week, I will try and keep up with our MWSP and spins. Thanks for joining us this Sunday and listening to a record that you might not have liked at first but willing to give it a chance now. Remember to tell your loved ones how much you love them and enjoy the little moments each and every day. Not every day will be easy but if you surround yourselves with love and happiness, things will start to improve. The Japanese have a theory that if you can improve yourself 1% each day, it will bring you happiness. It's not a lot to ask really, but trying for 1% more effort each day seems like a target that could be achieved.
"If you hate a person, you hate something in them that is part of yourself.
What isn't a part of ourselves doesn't disturb us" - Herman Hesse
Until our next Spin, be Kind to people who like all kinds of music and be Kind to your Wax!
SPEED PLAYED AT
33 1/3 RPM
WAR IS THE ANSWER (2009)
THE WRONG SIDE OF HEAVEN & THE RIGHTEOUS SIDE OF HELL PT. 1 (2013)
THE WAY OF THE FIST (2007)
UNDER AND OVER IT & COMING DOWN
RATING OUT OF 5
WHAT'S INSIDE THE RECORD SLEEVE
1 X SWAMP GREEN LP, LYRIC S PRINTED ON THE INSIDE OF GATEFOLD SLEEVE
"You can be me and I will be you, You can live just like a star. I'll take my sanity, you take the fame. I'm under it, over it all. I'm Under and Over It" ~ Under And Over It - Side A
LP / SIDE
UNDER AND OVER IT
BACK FOR MORE
IF I FALL
100 WAYS TO HATE
THE PRIDE (BONUS/REMIX)
Five Finger Death Punch performing live