Godsmack_1000hpScientists agree that post-9/11 alternative rock is unquestionably the lowest point in both American culture and human history. Out of that entire era, one band stands tall above the shit heap of tribal tats, soul patches, and whining. That band is Godsmack. Yes, there are bands that are even less talented, and some that are more insulting to music lovers. But Godsmack has just the right combination of blatant unoriginality and shallow suburban angst, unrivaled in their ability to annoy me while enthralling the rest of middle-class ‘Murricah.

1000hp is Godsmack‘s first album in 4 years, fresh off a brief hiatus (and a DUI trial). For those of you with short memories, the opening title track recaps Godsmack‘s origin story, a la Halford‘s “Made In Hell.” Except without the cool parts about wizards and Satan. Behold the first verse:

Time to rewind
Back to 1995 when we were nothing
Walking through the streets of Boston no one listening
No one caring about the empty rooms we played
Until they all showed up one day

They seem to have left out the part about tracing their logo out of an Alice In Chains album. But more importantly, this makes no linear sense. So no one was coming to see their band…but then everyone just showed up at once? Also, if I ever hear someone say “back to 1995″ like it’s a good thing, I’m going to smash them in the face with a copy of Load.

“Something Different” is a pretty typical mid-tempo alt rock tune, except it has a violin solo because, y’know, these guys are sensitive. “What’s Next” is a stab at legitimate metal, with an entry-level Lamb Of God riff and double kick drums. The results are surprisingly non-terrible, but the band is clearly a bit out of their comfort zone. “Generation Day” is the very definition of “generic” musically, but contains vocalist Sully Erna’s best performance of the album. When he stops trying to be Layne Staley and/or sound tough, he’s actually not half-bad.

godsmack-5

The guy in front is standing on two milk crates.

“Locked & Loaded” is hysterically over the top, with Erna telling an unnamed nemesis that “all (he) does is talk shit”, that he will “break your face,” and of course “you’re dead.” The next track, “Living In The Grey,” continues the trash talk somewhat, with Sully describing his enemy as “cold, stubborn, and so vain,” and whose “head’s a one-way street.” Godsmack seems to have a lot of songs like this, and the constant “you talkin’ to me?” posturing makes me wonder if Erna would benefit from talk therapy, or perhaps yoga. These songs make me envision a small dog barking at the asshole of a much larger dog. 

“I Don’t Belong” does boast some tasty rhythms courtesy of longtime drummer Shannon Larkin (ex-Wrathchild America). Larkin has always been a fantastic drummer, and while Godsmack undoubtedly pays the bills, it’s a fucking shame that his talent is not being put to better use elsewhere. But back to “I Don’t Belong.” Lyrically, this is the tale of a wealthy caucasian guy in a band that sells millions of records, singing about how he “doesn’t fit in.” I believe this is called “irony,” or perhaps “complete lack of self-awareness.”

After the 5th or 6th track, things start to blur together into an indistinguishable heap of drop-D riffs and empty posturing. The final track, “Turn To Stone,” contains some of the “tribal” elements that made “Voodoo” such a panty dropper back in the day. It’s hardly brilliant, but at least it stands out from the tracks preceding it.

I don’t even know how to properly score this album. By AMG standards, this album is pretty lame and weak. However, judged by its own merits, it does precisely what it’s supposed to, and it’s probably about as good as all their other albums. So once again, Godsmack has delivered the perfect soundtrack to watching pro wrestling, catching chlamydia, and beating people up. Just in time for back-to-school season!


Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 6 Format Reviewed: 192 kbps MP3
Label: Universal Records
Websites: godsmack.com 
Release Dates: Out Worldwide 08.05.2014

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  • T.J. Barber

    AMG reviews Godsmack?

    Shit, August just isn’t seeing very many good metal releases…

    • http://Angrymetalguy.com Steel Druhm

      It was like a double dog dare.

      • T.J. Barber

        There’s a local Minneapolis band called Noble Beast, you guys should review that instead of throwaway radio rock.

        • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

          If they don’t send it to us, we can’t review it.

          • T.J. Barber

            Makes sense, Good to know

          • T.J. Barber

            I just read “Angry Metal Guy Speaks: friendly advice from and angry reviewer” and feel dumb now.

            But I guess that might explain why some really great records don’t see reviews on here. Recent releases of Nasheim and The Great Old Ones come to mind.

          • http://www.metalvortex.net/ [HKK] Hell³

            I haven’t actually seen much mention of Nasheim at all, let alone here. Seems they went the self promoting route because I see no reviews from my usual sources, like SAOR.

          • http://www.metal-fi.com/ Alex

            *Cough*

          • http://www.metalvortex.net/ [HKK] Hell³

            I wasn’t a regular back then but yes, yours was pretty much the only one of the regular metal blog circle I follow that gave them due props.

          • Guest

            Is that why there isn’t a review of the latest Misery Index album?

          • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

            Possibly.

  • http://metalstate.wordpress.com/ Atleastimhousebroken

    This review gave me a good chuckle. Thanks for that :)

  • Eddy Ferreira

    My god August have been a horrible month for Metal, i’ve been buying up Old beatles ,Doors and Velvet Underground albums until something peaks my Intrest.

    • DrChocolate

      Pallbearer and Panopticon weren’t enough for you? Those two were almost enough for the whole year.

      • http://www.metalvortex.net/ [HKK] Hell³

        Opeth incoming. We’ve talked about this.

        • Carlos Marrickvillian

          The new Opeth is fantastic!
          Pichfork have had the album up for prerelease streaming. It and Pallbearer are neck and neck at the moment for best of the year!

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      I agree with Dr Chocolate! Do yer self a favour and get both those releases!

  • Excentric_1307

    Did you end up reviewing this because of a lost bet?

    I managed to get through 1:05 of the sample track before having to stop. Can anyone last longer?

    • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

      It was a joke that got way out of hand.

      • Excentric_1307

        Did you have to listen to the whole album? If so, my deepest condolences to you; that’s like the moment a joke goes too far and becomes sad instead.

        • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

          I have heard the entire album more than once. It actually went from joke, to sad, all they way back around to being funny again.

    • Christian

      I’m a masochist….1:15

      • Feeblejocks

        1:32 … for about 5 seconds after 1:15 it becomes almost bearable, but at about 1:25 or somewhere it just goes back to being, well, that.

  • replica

    The official band of sad guys in Camaros.

    • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

      Or riding Harleys.

      • Realkman666

        Fags!

  • Grymm

    “They seem to have left out the part about tracing their logo out of an Alice In Chains album.”

    Or the fact that they’re really from Manchester, New Hampshire.

    • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

      Really? Wow, that’s lame.

      • Grymm

        It is, but I also kinda get it.

        Saying you’re from Boston is cooler than saying you’re from Caffeine-Free Boston Lite… with Double the Cocaine and Meth!

        • http://www.metalvortex.net/ [HKK] Hell³

          To be fair, they’re probably saying that in good ole’ 1995 they were established in Boston.

  • http://www.metalvortex.net/ [HKK] Hell³

    Ah Godsmack. I remember that back in 1995 (I’ll lend you one of my two copies of Load) I thought they were pretty good. I was 20 and without a good music sense, sue me.

  • Wizeguy

    A long time ago, when I was just 13 years old and wouldn’t have known the difference between alt rock and grindcore, I used to think these guys were pretty badass. You know, because they had beards and played guitars. Thankfully, I have grown up and learned wisdom. Wonderfully entertaining review in any case!

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    “if I ever hear someone say “back to 1995″ like it’s a good thing, I’m going to smash them in the face with a copy of Load.”

    haha, ah thank you…I needed that laugh!

  • RagE

    This band seems about as pointless as Volbeat. Im sure the general population of robots will love this album.

  • Realkman666

    I THOUGHT THIS WAS A METAL WEBSITE OMG!

  • harley_d68

    The Larkin comment is spot on – and there’s nothing wrong with riding a Harley.

    • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

      No offense to Harley riders intended. Shannon Larkin, if you’re reading this, go join a band that is good please.

  • JWG

    For just a moment I found myself wondering if I had accidentally mixed up the URL/Titles of my Metal Blog bookmarks.

    …This *is* dangerously close to MetalInjection in the folder, but only because I don’t seem to have bookmarked most of the ones I see on your “Blogroll” over there.

  • http://batman-news.com GotGame

    I hate this fuckin’ band. Ever since Voodoo bought them all cars back in the day, they’ve been shooting for another “panty dropper” that sounds EXACTLY LIKE (probably) previous said song……at the end of every album. Every time the spit out an album….you know what that 10th song’s gonna sound like. God…..I hate this fuckin’ band.

  • Feeblejocks

    You own a copy of Load? Why?!

  • dressiertugboat

    Remember when Godsmack provided the soundtrack for the video game Prince of Persia: Warrior Within? They wrecked a perfectly good reboot with a sequel made up of everything that makes a Godsmack album terrible. :(