American Nightmare/Give Up the Ghost Background Music

If Minor Threat used Mesa Boogie amplification, if the Hope Conspiracy subtracted their melodic edge, if Drowningman dumbed down their song titles, if the Killing Flame were any good and if Sick Of It All weren't so damned infectious, you'd have American Nightmare. The band plays paint-by-numbers, hands locked into power chord position, don't do anything to piss off the kids on the hardcore message board, so there's no hope of any new musical ground being broken or avenues being explored. All one can hope for in a case like this is that they're at least good at their chosen vocation. The band starts off solidly enough with "(we are)" and "There's a Black Hole in the Shadow of the Pru," and I'd be lying if I said that song titles like "Shoplifting in a Ghost Town" and "I Saved Latin" weren't intriguing. However, a broken clock is only right twice a day and there's only so far a few chords, that one drumbeat and a bunch of screaming can take you before you get tuckered out. If this was halved or an EP, I would be bouncing my arse off the wall in mosh-happy salutation; as it stands, it's pretty much hardcore that doesn't step on any toes. (Equal Vision)