Amen We Have Come For Your Parents

"I would be Columbine or one of those kids doing not good things if I didn't have music," Amen vocalist/spiritual leader Casey Chaos admits. "I wouldn't be able to just sit here." And you've got to believe him, if not because of the cold blank gaze he casts or the self-inflicted slash marks on his arms and hands, then for the songs on his band's sophomore effort, We Have Come For Your Parents. With huge nods to everyone from Marilyn Manson and the neo-metal of Slipknot, right down to the New York Dolls, the L.A.-based quintet ooze piss and vinegar by the bucketful. But it's really the spirit of another self-mutilating junkie that pervades the record. "Iggy Pop is the most important human ever put on the planet," Chaos says. "Everything that he did is the prototype for all the music that I've ever been influenced by." But it doesn't take any more than one spin of their new record to figure out that Chaos (ex of Christian Death) is as influenced by what's going on around him as he is what he grew up listening to. Song like "In Your Suit," "Dead on the Bible" and "Price of Reality" paint a portrait of Western culture - particularly his own country - with broad, unflattering strokes. "America is really the nucleus of the world's problems," he says matter-of-factly. But the record is more than just the ranting of a heroin addict. Musically, the record has more in common with old glam punk than it does with Chaos's previous band, Christian Death. The searing dual guitar assault and relentlessly pounding rhythm section are all pulled together under the watchful ears of producer Ross Robinson (Slipknot, Korn, At the Drive-In) who tweaks the sonics of the band without over-producing them. The raw emotion of the music is never lost. We Have Come For Your Parents is about as brutal and honest a hard rock record as you're likely to hear this year. (Virgin)