The Great Amerakin Dream…
Reviewer – Suzi9mm
On September 30, 2016, Portland, Oregon’s Amerakin Overdose released their new album entitled,“The Great Amerakin Dream.”
The album is available via:
I’m taking a different approach to this review, as it deserves close attention. Rather than summarizing and writing a paragraph or two, this album deserves an in depth review, track by track.
From start to finish, “The Great Amerakin Dream” takes you on a well thought out, well written, and stunningly recorded journey. You feel hope, angst, lust, sadness, anger, love, and the pulse of today.
Amerakin Overdose sets the tone of the album fully with the eerie, yet stunning tweaks to the notes sung by guest vocalist Bria Rene on “Red, White, and Black.” It’s a ridiculously innovative version of the Star Spangled Banner. While the song is recognizable, one we all know without even knowing we know it from the repetition of our primary education, the alteration to this classic Amerakana jingle not only sets the mood for this modern album, but also for the feel of life in America in 2016. It effectively touches your soul on a subconscious patriotic level, yet at the same time makes you a bit uncomfortable. Are they communicating feelings of despair in today’s culture? No, wait, it’s sadness. No, I think it’s patriotism and freedom in this unstable world. Wait….no its an example of the modern adjustments needed to move forward in life. Whatever the inspiration was, it is hauntingly beautiful.
Following the opening track is “The Great Amerakin Dream” — “Welcome to the land of all your wants and all your needs…” singer Cody Perez boasts. The drumming on this track by Brick is excellent, and vocalists Cody and Pito provide a perfect blend of clean and dirty vocals. It seems that Amerakin Overdose has a great pulse on not only what we want to hear as fans of metal, but what every American is struggling with in life today. This song is highly energetic and one that you will not easily forget as it runs through your mind like an infection.
As is the “norm” for Amerakin Overdose, raw sexuality is not a taboo subject. In a very groovy and sexy song, “Face Down, Ass Up” fits perfectly as track three. The groove of this song is addicting and full of sexual references. As assembled, the song makes normally taboo subjects of all (or most) men’s desires seem like a fantastically fun way of life. This song has everything in it. For fans of Otep, Mushroomhead, Slipknot, etc…this one stacks up to even their best releases, respectively.
“Cyber Superstar” follows in this well laid out chronology of songs. Another highly infectious song that you won’t easily dismiss from your brain throughout the day, no matter how hard you try. The electronics are well placed and there is no way to sit still through it. Listen to it, and you’ll understand what I mean.
“I, Alone,” track five, at just over four minutes, is one of the most sophisticated songs on the album, even with the word Mother Fucker in it. “One, Two, Three…Mother Fucker explode”! In self reflection, AOD reminds us that ultimately we all do stand alone. The appropriately repetitive lyrics: ”I, Alone. I, Alone. I, Alone,” are effectually paced. There are no lyrics in the CD booklet of this release, but I found that they aren’t really even needed. Every word sung by the Perez brothers is clear and intentional.
“Medicate” is a super sexy, groovy song with elements of 1970s Stevie Wonder funk, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Rob Zombie. I’d be willing to bet that either (or both) Red Hot Chili Peppers or Rob Zombie, upon a listen, would smack their foreheads and wish they had written and recorded this song.
“Love Like Ecstasy” follows. After five heavy tracks, it’s a a welcomed quick breather with this slower balladish song. “I want a little bit, can’t get enough of it”…“You’re making me lose control, it feels like I’ve lost my soul, you see what your doing to me, love like ecstacy.”
“Sober Eyes” is one of my favorite tracks on this album. And, I have to stop here and say — I’m at song 8 so far in my fifth listen through of “The Great Amerakin Dream” …and I highly recommend you listen to this release from start to finish…always! Nothing on this album has let me down; there is no shitty track on this album. My head is bobbing and my feet are moving… my body is shifting with the groove and I can’t really stop and type well, even if I try. I’m enjoying this thoroughly. It is really fucking great!
C.U.N.T…. “I love you! I hate you! CUNT! CUNT! CUNT!” Most girls hate this word…well I do anyway, but in true Amerakin Overdose form, nothing is taboo. And, I have to say, I’m not at all offended hearing the word in this song. We’ve all felt exactly what they are singing about, it’s just that most of us are not as comfortable screaming CUNT! There is no doubt that this will become a classic anthem for most of us when we describe the inevitable toxic relationship we all will likely experience at least once in our life.
Politically charged “Nothing Remains” has beautifully placed electronics. If you concentrate and isolate the electronics as you listen, you can see how prevalent they really are, but as you open your ears and mind to it in its entirety, you find that they blend nicely. This rappy song takes a subject that we are all feeling heavily at this particular moment of the release…and lyrically it translates both politically and in life.
“Letting Go.” What a great song. Here, maybe more than in any other song on “The Great American Dream,” you can feel the passion felt at the core of Cody, Pito, and guest vocalist Waylon Reavis of A Killer’s Confession. Waylon is the perfect addition to this song. Cody’s strong and horizontal singing at the onset of this song, combined with the intensity of Waylon’s voice makes this complex work of art feel effortless. I feel like I’ve always wanted to hear this song. Like I knew it existed, but hadn’t heard it yet. Well I found it. Without being aware of the actual lyrics, Cody, Pito, and Waylon communicate human emotion and convert it into something raw and audible….something tangible that we can physically have and almost hold in our hands. The build ups in this song are effective. In something that is often not done well in the music world, as I listen here, I feel like I am physically receiving spattering of their spit as they sing the words. Through their collective voice and passion I feel like I know exactly how they feel and what they are saying to me. While the vocals definitely take center stage here, I’m struck by how, maybe more than in any other song on this release, this song is one entity. The end of this song is absolutely brutal and the transition from “Letting Go” to “Revolution” is seamless.
“Revolution” is an uncommonly energetic song. I love how AOD starts this song with such a heavy build up and then assaults the listener with an intense industrial feel…then yanks it back, and gives it again. “One step forward…two steps back…I feel you…smothering…” The pace of this song…the ups and downs… are fantastic. This intentional oscillation makes the experience from the listener’s perspective very exciting.
Disappointed and satisfied at the same time…I reach the end of “The Great Amerakin Dream” with “Gone Away.” While Perez has given a solid performance regarding the spectrum of his clean and dirty vocals in the songs that precede “Gone Away,” it is here where Cody’s clean vocals shine. His voice is quite pretty here. Yeah, I know its probably not cool to say “pretty” in metal to describe a vocalist’s voice, but I’ve got nothing else here that quite describes it other than… It is very pretty.
Both lyrically and musically, each song is stable and in only rare instances, one overshadows the other. You can say that Cody and Pito have a great band that backs them, or that Human, Brick, and Brandon, have good vocalists that back them. I’m not sure which is truer.
Through their blood and tears and struggles and persistence…through their angst and determination…through their talent and dedication, Amerakin Overdose absolutely got it right here. Human’s public transition from keys to guitars, and mastery of composition and use of electronics has stepped up AOD’s game to the big league. Brick’s solid drumming is the backbone that holds AOD upright. Brandon’s grounded bass work lays a foundation for brothers Pito and Cody to firmly and proudly stand tall. The Great Amerakin Dream… is just a fantastic release.
Red, White, and Black
The Great Amerakin Dream
Face Down, Ass Up
Love Like Ecstacy
Letting Go Ft. Waylon Reavis
Amerakin Overdose is:
Cody – Vocals
Pito – Backing Vocals
The Human – Keys/Synths/guitars
Brick – Drums
Brandon – Bass