We the People, in order to form a more perfect union, certainly never planned for Sir Russell Allen to continue his New York/New Jersey nu-metal groove project Adrenaline Mob this long. In fact, with this third album inbound, things are bordering on a violation of listeners’ basic rights and freedoms. I’ve covered their previous outings of throwback nu-metal, yet I remain at a loss why Mr. Allen is so enamored with this numb-skull style of pablum made infamous by Disturbed, Godsmack and Nickelback. With right hand man, guitarist Mike Orlando and a few unknown recruits, Allen is back with more material that could, but shouldn’t have peppered radio stations across the country circa 1999-2005. Want heavy grooves? There are more here than at your local vinyl emporium. Want tough guy lyrics about being hard and mean? This is like a primer on macho shit to say between heavy reps on dead-lift day as you chug Monster Energy. You know what makes this already difficult to stomach material all the less palatable? Allen is so goddamn talented, he almost pulls it off sometimes, which is truly beyond scientific explanation.

Note the “almost” qualifier, as We the People is not a good album if you’re a discerning metal enthusiast. It’s lowest common denominator gateway metal for brahs and brahettes of the mall rat persuasion. By that I mean it’s devoid of substance and artistic merit, though it has scattered hooks and enough dimwitted, loudmouth bravado to appeal to the 14-year-old version of you who was mad at your dad and high school math teacher. Opener “King of the Ring” is a perfect case study – you get the most derivative nu-metal staccato riffs imaginable with Allen roaring pre-fight manly posturing in his best rough n’ rowdy bellow. It’s hard to hear and rather embarrassing, but I admit I probably would have lifted weights to it back in the 80s.

The balance of We the People is lost in the same deep rut (or groove if you prefer). “Better” moments include the title track, which sounds like Disturbed on auto-pilot with a chorus that manages a semi-serviceable hook. “Bleeding Hands” goes for a sort of Nickelbackian radio rock ballad that isn’t terrible. “Chasing Dragons” is best of the bunch and decent enough to be a B-Side on an Allen/Lande album, but Jorn would be justified in nixing it in favor of his 18-minute cover of “American Pie.”

Now on to the real dogs. “Til the Head Explodes” is a toxic mixture of P.O.D., Kid Rock and Rob Zombie that terrorists will probably weaponize. “What You’re Made of” is Nickelback on Soviet-grade steroids, and that’s one photograph you definitely shouldn’t look at; and “Raise ‘Em Up” is as lunk-headed as brah metal gets, with a genuinely disorienting blend of Godsmack‘s least endearing traits.

Aside from the awful material, the band makes several other baffling moves, like making an album of E-Grade material over an hour-long. The cover of Billy Idol‘s “Rebel Yell” doesn’t help much either. They should have just gone all in and covered “Tainted Love” or better yet, “I’m Too Sexy.” Add unbelievably brain-dead lyrics that scream “high school band that will never play live” and it’s quite a situation we have here, folks.

We know Russell Allen is one of metal’s premier vocalists, so out of respect, we’ll kill him last. Accomplice Mike Orlando may be the talented guitarist his solos sometimes suggest he is, but he spends the entire album spewing rudimentary nu-metal riffs and annoying harmonics as if he was cursed to relive the year 2000 for all eternity. If this was a wedding band for nu-metal couples, he would be the most qualified man on Earth for the guitar spot, and maybe that’s what this is after all. As for new bassist Erik Leonhardt1 and drummer Jordan Cannata, both come from nothing approaching an established band, and soon they’ll realize nothing has changed. As for Sir Russell, the man is slumming so hard here that slumlords the world over feel the disturbance. Using his golden pipes to shout about beating people up in bars is like using filet mignon to caulk a bathroom window, but here we are nonetheless. His fedora-clad Jersey Strong shouts and rasps are what they are, but he does inject some life into the few lines he actually sings (“Bleeding Hands,” “Blind Leading the Blind”). Sadly, those parts are stuck in the same testosterone and Red Bull Pruno cocktail, so what difference does it make anyway?

One of the YouTube comments under the embedded video called the band “stepdad metal” and that’s as good a tag as any. I heard somewhere that Russell has no current plans to do another Symphony X album and would instead focus on Adrenaline Mob. You need no further proof of the impending end times. Purify water, hoard food and burn this album for warmth (after you bench press to it).

Rating: 1.5/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Century Media
Websites: adrenalinemob.comfacebook.com/adrenalinemob
Releases Worldwide: June 2nd, 2017

Show 1 footnote

  1. LEONHARDT, that dude’s gonna kill your ass, don’t you know that?!
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  • Eli Valcik

    Excuse me sir, your fedora is showing.

  • Dang, now I wanna listen to that “American Pie” cover

  • Grymm

    Stepdad Metal, NWOAABR (New Wave of Aged American Butt Rock), “We moonlight as sales associates at Guitar Center during the day” metal… Any name you give this, it’s still a massive bag of horrible.

    • I heard they were changing their name to Symphony NEXT!

    • stepdad metal as a concept makes me really sad as a stepdad.

  • RilesBell

    Very sad if his comments about Symphony X are true. While this is certainly a waste, at least there’s the Allen/Lande project. Pretty sure Michael Romeo has a solo album in the works as well.

  • ARBrasch

    Russell Allen dresses how I imagine Guy Fieri would dress if he were in a metal band.

    • Ronnie James Dio Linnane

      comment of the year

    • Mollusc

      Just found out who Guy Fieri is. Sounds like a multi-talented chap.

    • Huck N’ Roll

      Just needs to frost his hair and he’s set!

    • Eva Drewsen

      Those sunglasses… If he would at least keep them to Adrenaline Mob, but nope, had to wear them for Symphony X concerts as well!

  • One point five, so benevolent.

  • manimal

    I’m making generalisations about technique here, but you show mercy by killing someone first, not by making them stand around and watch as you do their accomplices in in creative and strangely complex ways.

    • Valid, but I live by the code of Commando (1985).

      • Hulksteraus

        Let out some steam Bennett…

  • Spread Wide & Panic

    “Want tough guy lyrics about being hard and mean? This is like a primer
    on macho shit to say between heavy reps on dead-lift day as you chug
    Monster Energy.” – I just died.

  • Even Mike Portnoy was like “Naw, this is too douchey”.

  • Ivan E. Rection

    So much suck. Dump trucks of suck.

  • Zach Ward

    That album art is an insult to art. That’s so terrible I wouldn’t mind going blind for a bit.

    • Eli Valcik

      One of the worst of the year.

      • Zach Ward

        No doubt. It’s not even close with how shit this “art” is.

  • I guarantee the UFC adopts “King of the Ring” as their new anthem by year’s end.

    • Eli Valcik

      oh please no. That song doesn’t even deserve to be in a shitty WWE intro.

      • Grymm

        Symphony NXT?

      • Nukenado

        They had Limp fucking Bizkit in an intro. At least Allen’s voice is better than Fred Durst’s.

  • Ferrous Beuller

    I might throw this on next time I’m in the gym and see how long it takes someone to punch me in the Draimans when I start chest-bumping strangers and towel-whipping the staff…

  • One More Thing

    Is there a disgruntled executive over at Century Media who is trying to fuck over the label on his way out? There is no way there was enough demand for a third album (and I didn’t even know there was a second album until I read this review).

  • Sean Sky

    Between the name and the album art I already knew this was in sub 2 territory

  • Brent Johnson

    All I can think is after every album of this is Russell is asking: is this how Draiman does it?

  • The fedoras are going to play havoc with the Band-Photo-Barometer.

    • Thatguy

      There is only one thing worse than one fedora…

      The photo – and the music – speaks for itself. Limp-cock rock?

      • Hulksteraus

        Gold!! Guessing it broke the Band Photometer… Needs another beer service!

        • Thatguy

          Nah. The photometer eats this kind of thing right up.

          But time for more beer? You bet.

    • Tofu muncher

      And the pouts! Egad! Them pouts!!

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    The “like using filet mignon to caulk a bathroom window” line … Bravo

  • Drew Music

    And now we know that being in Symphony X will get you 0.5 free Anger Tokens.

  • Mollusc

    Mid-life crisis? (I mean Mr Allen, not you Mr Druhm).

    • This gave me a mid-life crisis via audio contact.

      • Mollusc

        You’re a martyr. Amazing review though, thanks!

  • sir_c

    Next thing he’ll buy a Honda Goldwing and grow a man bun.

    What a fucking waste of my time were those 2 minutes of watching the video godsmacked (sic) and what a fucking waste of talent.

  • Wes Allen

    First Chris Cornell dies, then Russell Allen does this. Not the year for amazing vocalists…

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    Mmmmm ….filet mignon window caulking….
    Another album I’ll avoid.

  • I too cannot believe this band has made it to a third album. Very boring, even the cover of “Mob Rules.” But I love the review, and someone get Jorn on that cover of “American Pie!”

  • rumour_control

    Steel GOLD:
    “It’s lowest common denominator gateway metal for brahs and brahettes of the mall rat persuasion.”

  • Damn you, SD. I always enjoyed Adrenaline Mob, and thought about them as fun, simplistic hard rock, perfectly suitable for listening in a night bus while coming home after few beers; with above-average drumming, shredding solos and just right amount of radio-friendly ballads. I’ve never heard that Disturbed, Nickelback, or nu-whatever factor in their sound, but now I do… and my linking of this band is ruined a bit.

    • Would it make you feel better to know I was starting a band called “Night Bus” and giving you zero credit?

      • Well, seeing an armored gorilla, covering Jorn on stage with a band called Night Bus would certainly set my mood in the right way.

    • Tofu muncher

      Yep. I love Omerta, and quite like Men of Honor. Knew abt the “project” because I was following Portnoy’s twitter account (and because of Allen). And I never would’ve put them in the same category with nu-whatever music. I haven’t heard the embedded track (didn’t dare to heh).

      • The same with me – I came across this band because of Portnoy. So far, his every project turned out to be at least *good* (maybe with the exception of Metal Allegiance, but it’s not really a band), so I have no idea why this man gains so much hate around the internet…
        Transatlantic is just pure prog joy (if anyone didn’t watch their DVDs, should do it right after reading this comment), Winery Dogs rocks on all fronts, Flying Colors has moments of true brilliance and beauty on “Second Nature”, LtE is just Dream Theater for those who can’t stand LaBrie’s voice, and about Adrenaline Mob I’ve written enough in the comment above.

  • Reese Burns

    I always imagined Adrenaline Mob’s music as a shitty cover of Disturbed doing a shitty cover of Three Days Grace. I’d have given this a 0.5.

    • Nukenado

      With the lyrics of self-titled TDG.
      Ughhh… “Just Like You” still gives me flashbacks.

  • Levly

    Omg the embedded video is embarrassing to watch… Is that really their idea of “cool”?!
    The fact that Allen puts Symphony X on hold for this makes me lose faith in humanity, and in the sanity of the man himself :(.

    • mtlman1990

      I doubt Allen put Symphony X oh hold. Michael Romeo does what he wants.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        I wish I could buy you a beer for this comment!

  • Marc Rikmenspoel

    I have zero interest in this, musically. But it does trigger a memory. Three years ago, when I was still in New Jersey before moving back to Colorado, one of my customers was the promoter for Eddy Trunk’s That Metal Show, the traveling version. He put me on the guest list for the Teaneck show , so I attended with one of my employees who also likes heavy music. One of the announced guests was Mike Orlando. You know how many entertainers are small humans? Orlando is indeed a tiny man. But Russell Allen, who wasn’t an announced guest, came by for the heck of it. He is a truly large man, over 6 feet tall and beefy. I wouldn’t have guessed it, without seeing him in person. Seeing Orlando and Allen side by side is actually comical.


      Listen to Sonic stomp vol 1 and vol 2 and u’ll realize how much large is Orlando in talent :)

  • Nukenado

    This isn’t even really good bench press music…
    DragonForce serves that use way better.

    But yeah, this over Symphony X?!

  • Dead1

    I do find it hilarious when metalheads get all high and mighty about supposed “macho” music. Like our whole fucking genre isn’t based on macho bullshit. Motorhead, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden certainly weren’t attracting many members of the female sex back in the day, let alone Slayer or Death or Darkthrone.

    So why is it ok for “Slayer circa 1983 to be tough Satanic guys” but not Adrenalin Mob (or Pantera or Soulfly or whatever)?

    Like metalheads are intellectuals. Fuck off. We’re a bunch of alcoholic stoner retards for the most part that spend a lot of our time escaping reality through the music we listen to. Judging by most metalheads I’ve met, the average IQ at a metal gig would be well below average!

    By the way I didn’t even listen to the embedded track (and I’ve never even heard this band). The review’s self righteous style put me off completely.

    • Thatguy

      What was OK in 1983 is old old old in 2017.

      It’s my job to tell SD he is a poseur with no taste – I do it with boring regularity – but he is right about this.

      Most of the metalheads I know are music nerds, and pretty smart.

      • Dead1

        Most that I have met wouldn’t post here cause they’re functionally illiterate. And most were alcoholics or stoners or both.
        Now they just pretend they is smart.

        • herrschobel

          get out of Kentucky then !

        • Reese Burns

          I would go so far as to say that most people who read AMG (myself included) are neither illiterate nor retarded.

        • Lone Biker of the Apocalypse

          “Now they just pretend they is smart.”

          Given the context, this is hilarious!

        • Cool story bro. Much as I feel like I’m getting tired of some of the sillier traits of metal music, I’m 100% certain I’ve never met a metalhead who wasn’t highly literate and usually pretty geeky.

          I’ve personally never met one of those lunkheaded tattooed bro dudes that just like to hear something aggressive while pumping their biceps. At least where I live, that demographic seems to listen to radio rap & trap, plus pretty boy pop songs.

          Not that my personal anecdotes are worth a lot, but that’s sort of the point.

          Personally though, I would at least agree that a lot of the accepted clichés of metal are hollow escapist idiocy. Glorification of war, pretentious neo-philisophical rambling about quantum physics and black holes (usually written with a Thesaurus open in one window), lyrics about Tolkienesque nonsense, almost all thrash metal lyrics ever written – and yes, Pantera is mostly really, really fucking dumb. BUT! There is so much more to metal than the most tired tropes, so I ultimately can’t agree with you much.

    • Ugo Poifol

      “I do find it hilarious when metalheads get all high and mighty about supposed “macho” music. Like our whole fucking genre isn’t based on macho bullshit. Motorhead, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden certainly weren’t attracting many members of the female sex back in the day, let alone Slayer or Death or Darkthrone.”

      Good thing I don’t listen to any of these bands then!

      Not every “Metalhead” is the embodiment or caricature of the whole history of Metal. I don’t even consider myself an intellectual, that would be ridiculous, I just don’t enjoy this kind of low-brow macho shit.

      Can I? Or are you going to ridicule me because Slayer, a Metal band I don’t listen to, played tough some 20 years ago?

      • Dead1

        “Low brow macho bullshit” – proves my point.

        Most metalbands still sing about dumb arse juvenile shit – serial killers, dragons, UFOs, evil, demons, Lovecraft etc.

        • DrChocolate

          There’s a difference between “Looks and Acts Like They Were Once Contestants on Elimidate” metal bands like AM, 5FDP, and Hell Yeah and “We Played D&D, Watched The Twilight Zone, and Listened to Iron Maiden A Lot” bands like everyone else you’ve mentioned.

          I never thought the UFO-Dragon-Lovecraft were terribly macho. Before the whole ‘nerds are cool’ explosion of the last 5-10 years that shit got you beat up, wedgied, and labeled “uncool” when I was in high school.

    • There’s a big difference between tough, heavy stuff like Pantera or Slayer and this album. This is just dumb.

      • chitownproud85

        The fact that you’d even have to make this statement is…worrisome. Even Panteras legit tough guy bullshit comes off as sincere and potentially real, whereas this comes across as…youve got to be shitting me.

    • herrschobel

      you again. The fact that you compare Pantera and Soulfly with this horrendous piece of crap speaks volumes about your approach to Metal.

      “Most metalbands still sing about dumb arse juvenile shit – serial killers, dragons, UFOs, evil, demons, Lovecraft etc.” in the contemporary metal landscape this is a questionable if not false statement. I might discuss this with my intellectual buddies when we do the next bar brawl or at the book club. We will see.

    • Grymm

      “I do find it hilarious when metalheads get all high and mighty about supposed “macho” music. Like our whole fucking genre isn’t based on macho bullshit. Motorhead, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden certainly weren’t attracting many members of the female sex back in the day, let alone Slayer or Death or Darkthrone…

      By the way I didn’t even listen to the embedded track…”

      Way to invalidate your argument.

    • Bryan Stroup

      Speak for yourself. I don’t drink or smoke. I’m just only slightly retarded too.

      • Dead1

        I drink and am full retard.
        To quote Pantera “one hand on the bottle, another a shaking fist!”
        Fuck yeah

    • DrChocolate

      “Motorhead, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden certainly weren’t attracting many members of the female sex back in the day.”

      Uh…wut? Lemmy never pulled any crowd tail in his life? Ozzy never nailed a groupie? Dude, what are revisionist history are you talking about?! Not trying to be a sexist hog here but Ozzy was drowning in women – throughout his career. In his biography, in his words he details getting of the phone with his wife and walking right into a foursome.

      I’m not condoning their behavior, Ozzy himself has said he’s ashamed of the way he treated his ex-wives and women, but to try and frame your “macho” music argument around the lack of females in the early days of metal is just flat WRONG.

  • Westpaceagle

    Mr. Druhm delivering the goods! The truly awful records are some of the best reviews. Bravo!

  • I guess it says a lot about how I understand the tastes of the writers in here that I thought this would get a 4.5 for sure!

    I don’t eat cheese so I can’t tell the difference between a 1.5 cheese and a 4.5 cheese.

  • herrschobel

    after 50 seconds i had to stop. embarrassing.

  • Martin Knap

    Can Steel Drum make a workout playlist for us readers please?

  • I.B. Hurtin

    Funniest review ever!

  • mtlman1990

    The sad part for me is everytime I see Russel Allen with Symphony X, he gets better. No joke. How can he get better and worse at the same time.

  • Jeff Manteiga

    Trying to watch this at work, but I keep having to look around to make sure nobody can see my screen…

  • Jón Aldará

    I joyously agree with any general statement about Adrenaline Mob made in this review. However, I propose a more economic and accurate description of the band: “Ech!”.

  • Shrümpelstiltskin

    I can’t believe Portnoy was once in this band too. Why would fantastic progressive metal musicians put their names on this shit?


      The answer is simple and even the angry above didn’t mention it : Fantastic prog metal musician need to feed their families and prog metal doesn’t sell like the BritneySpears or JessicaSimpson shit, so they find themselves forced to play more accessible, simple and mainstream music so they can get wider fanbase . Adrenaline Mob did some good albums in the past (Omerta is my prefered and worth buying) but we the people I gotta admit is more radio-mtv music. A lot of talented musicians in these hard times have to choose between 3 pathways : n¹ : keep playing intelligent music but gotta find another job in parallel to maintain a certain decent level of living – n² : join a side-project who makes accessible music, it means selling more CD’s – n³ : becoming a clinician by giving lessons online and doing clinics across America and why not out of the states. So excuse me but I understand the choice of Orlando and Allen to do so. (Orlando’s 2 solos shred high level in your face albums are masterpieces in the genre and I am sure he sold more adrenaline mob albums than Sonic stomp vol 1 and 2)

  • chitownproud85

    Even after reading the scathing review, somehow that video and song are actually WORSE than the expectations I had going in. What the hell is he doing? And how is this even real? Has to be a Steel Panther type parody thing, right? HAS TO BE, RIGHT?

    • If only that were true.

      • chitownproud85

        Only logical explanation is hes stuck in some sort of time warp where he believes this type of music is more likely to make him “big” or “rich”. Sort of like Tagtgren and “Pain” – guy known for metal that wants to make more money so has this other band that tries to write “hits.” Shit gives me the willies.

  • Nahuel Benvenuto

    love the reviews of bad albums, keep them coming

  • TheCurlyMetalhead

    Holy shiet the cringe… Why is Russell Allen doing this to himself??

  • Vassago Gamori

    Sexy angel!
    Sexy Devil!

  • Matt Thompson

    I like it, but certainly not loving it. I wish Allen would have done another Level 10 album, maybe a Allen/Lande record, or best, another Symphony X record. I can’t hate on it that much because Russell Allen is such an amazing vocalist and has a huge stage presence. I still don’t consider it nu-metal though, which I think the reviewer misused….that terminology.