American Blitzkrieg

Babylon A.D.

Apocalypse Records, 2000

http://www.facebook.com/Babylonadband‎

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 09/03/2000

Back when I reviewed Live In Your Face, the "comeback" album from hard rockers Babylon A.D., I rhetorically asked if anyone should care that a band who had all of one medium-level hit would be returning to the forefront. (In short, the answer was, yes, as long as they kept it entertaining like they did on that disc.)

Now, Derek Davis and crew are back with their latest studio offering, American Blitzkrieg. And, once again, I find myself asking whether we should be working ourselves up into a lather about this band. Had I answered after just one listen, I would have emphatically answered "no". Now that I've listened to the disc about 10 times in the last few days (see, Dave? That's why I occasionally go past promised dates for reviews), I'm not so sure.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

There's no doubt that these guys live in the past musically; their sound is kind of like Enuff Z'Nuff meets Faster Pussycat on songs like "One Way Ride," "Magic Mary" and the title track. Worse, yet, there doesn't seem to be any desire to try and move their sound to the 21st Century. In their defense, though, if the retro-sound works for them, why should they change it, I guess.

Yet American Blitzkrieg is not an album that you can settle with giving a cursory listen to. At times, the disc challenges the listener to approach things from the band's point of view, both lyrically and musically. If you're able to do this (and it's not the easiest thing to either do or describe), songs like "Sinking In The Sand," "The Unreal" and "SuperStar" prove to be quite entertaining. (Some of the lines, though, are a little banal. Example from "I Wana Live" - and yes, that's how they spelled it: "I wanna meet Madonna / And stain her satin sheets." Pre- or post-pregnancy, Derek?)

In the end, though, American Blitzkrieg recognizes it's not a stellar hard rock album; rather, it's a groove-oriented album. Simply put, you either get locked into it, or you don't. I find myself falling into both camps, depending on how I'm feeling when I listen to the album. A cop-out? Maybe - but this album defies simple praise or criticism.

Well, that's not entirely true - on the critical side, it is a tad short, clocking in at around 40 minutes, like many of the hard rock albums from the genre's glory days. In this day and age, that seems like a short album.

American Blitzkrieg is not the kind of album that is going to propel Babylon A.D. back into the spotlight, though it might just remind people they're still around, and there's enough substance to suggest that these guys aren't going anywhere for the forseeable future.

Rating: B-

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© 2000 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Apocalypse Records, and is used for informational purposes only.