AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE “Tango Umbrella” review (by Droll)

AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE “Tango Umbrella” review (by Droll)

- in Reviews


Napalm Records

It’s been awhile since American Head Charge showed some signs of life, so many rushed to conclusions of the band leaving the scene. It’s not surprising: Brian Ottoson’s untimely death, Cameron Heacock’s leaving and return. Also, the last band’s release Shoot got, let me tell it gently, rather ambiguous feedbacks from fans and critics. But in spring 2014 the band started campaign to raise funds to finance their new album, Tango Umbrella and signing a contract with Napalm Records. This news gives hopes to fans. Although it took eight month more for an album, it’s worth it.

Tango Umbrella is very unkind and very venomous. It’s clear that the guys have many thigs to say, and they convey their thoughts, feelings and experiences to the listener as rigid as they can. There are no sentiments. Even musically calm “A King Among Man” filled with such inner pain of bereavement (Brian), that it can be felt in every word said by Cameron. “Perfectionist”, “Suffer Elegantly” and “Sacred” are yelling about individual problems and modern society issues on the whole.

By the way, “Tango Umbrella” is American army slang, means “tits up”. E.g. “man down, tango umbrella”. So the album title itself tell to listener what to expect.

Campaign to raise funds on also was a good motion. Knowing the band’s history, it was hardly made for money. Rather for check, if fans are still waiting for an album. Exceeding the initial goal confirmed it and, it seems, gave strength to continue their creation.

It should be noted that the record sounds very qualitatively (however it’s not surprising, but always nicely) and very powerfully. Literally starting from the first track “Let All The World Believe” that befalls on listener with all it’s might of guitar riffs and rhythm-section, and till the ending 7-minutes “When The Time Is Never Right”. Although, there isn’t only might in music. “Drowning Under Everything” emphasizes with interesting bass line, “Suffer Elegantly” discover all drummer’s versatility, and the “Antidote” vocals are beyond praise.

Well, what about the lyrics. As I said above, they are venomous. They are telling the truth and not always gentle. But it’s clear that nobody expect something else from this kind of music.

With all this, I can’t not to add a fly in this ointment. Tango Umrella is a great album that opens festering wounds on society’s body with its music and lyrics. But there is one big fat misgiving: if this album was released at the beginning of 2000-th, Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park were forced to make room on musical Olympus. But nowadays, with all sorrow, there’s a high probability that this album will be only “One of”, despite its riot magnificence.


(c) Droll (

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