American Capitalist

Five Finger Death Punch

Prospect Park Records, 2011

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson


If you listen carefully, Five Finger Death Punch refer to their two previous releases within 1:13 and 1:25 of the title track American Capitalist. The fact that vocalist Ivan Moody refers to the band’s first two releases should not surprise fans of the band. The fact of the matter is that Five Finger Death Punch now command hate and hostility. On this release, they are still peeved at the world, still getting the shaft, and still telling the world about the injustices of the world.

Both lead-off track “American Capitalist” and “Over It And Under It” are the right tone for this release. Moody toggles between his aggressive vocal style and his cleaner singing style during the chorus of “Over It And Under It” effortlessly. The next track “The Pride” reminds me of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire.” As you recall, that song is a series of current events strung together to create a song. “The Pride” is the same type of approach, except the references include current events in 2011 like Facebook, and Dimebag (Pantera’s deceased guitarist) in the same song as JFK and Mickey Mouse. During the chorus, he sings, “I will not be forgotten / This is my time to shine.” Under his vocals, guitarists Zoltan Bathory and Jason Hook have created brutal riffs. Drummer Jeremy Spencer contributes his most pummeling performance in the history of the band for this release on “Menace.”my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Back For More” is probably the only track I would routinely skip. The lyrics sound like background music to one of the “Real World Challenges” series on MTV. When Moody sings, “It's time to rise up, man up, get back up, never bend and won't be broken / Dust off and then come back for more / You've gotta reach down, dig deep, and break ground, / Show them all you won't be beaten / Brush it off and then come back for more! / Come back for more” I cringe. If not for the guitar solo, I would skip this song routinely. “Remember Everything” is a nice recovery from “Back For More.” Moody apologizes to his mother and father, telling them “In my heart I know I failed you.” Maybe it is the first step towards a reconciliation of some sort. I have now heard the only sincere apology on a Five Finger Death Punch release.

As with the ending of War Is The Answer, the last three tracks are very strong. “Wicked Ways” describes the wicked ways of someone Moody knew enough to write a song about. The song is not too fast and not too slow. “If I Fall” continues the earlier theme of fighting. Moody sings “If I fall / I’m taking everybody out.” Then the final track starts. “100 Ways to Hate” is three minutes of hatred with the perfect chorus. No other band has ever delivered these words with as much conviction as Moody. “I hate you” because he goes on to say “that’s an understatement.” It brings a wry grin to my face when I hear that. Hate, on this release, is such a strong subject and yet, to say “I hate you” is an understatement. It is also the word, as you may recall, that begin their debut The Way Of The Fist.

Five Finger Death Punch is a band that I will probably always listen to. I don’t relate to a lot of the hate that Moody sings about in my personal life, but I relate to the conviction of having strong feelings. I hope the band continues to record music for as long as they are able to deliver material as strong as this release. Their current tour rolls through my area in early December and I already have my ticket.

Rating: A

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© 2011 Paul Hanson 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 Prospect Park Records, and is used for informational purposes only.