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The Hangmen
Metallic I.O.U.
Acetate Records


Listening to "Downtown", the first number on Metallic I.O.U., the sophomore release from L.A.'s Hangmen, it's pretty difficult to not think of Ted Nugent. The true "Rock N' Roll" riffs recall some of the eighties hard rock glamour that's gone from cool, to stupid, to kitschy. Being that we're in the kitschy phase of the evolution, it's hard not to dig. Making it even more likable is that Iggy Pop keeps making an appearance in my head while I try to sort out my feelings about Metallic I.O.U. Nugent and Pop... an interesting combo, but in listening to The Hangmen, you see how similar they really were.

All of the elements of a hard rock song make their appearance on "Broke, Drunk and Stoned". A cowbell leads us into distorted guitar, a barrage of splash and crash cymbals, tambourines, screeching guitar solos and an almost invisible bass line staying in perfect step with the guitar. Again, as soon as I think I've figured out their angle, Iggy Pop appears like a musical Obi-Won saying "Don't they sound like me?"

What's really appealing about The Hangmen is that they aren't predictable. Obvious chord changes don't happen, but each songs' flow remains uninterrupted. Traditionally, this has been the biggest fault with anything that punk has inspired. Each song is predictable and there's no difference from track to track. Thankfully, The Hangmen don't subject their listeners to that kind of blandness. They keep the power up and they keep it interesting. And just when you think this band is all angst and no soul, the whip out the soulful angst ballad "Is That All There Is?"

Let's face it, lyrically, with the exception of X, L.A. music has never had too many brains and no one has seemed too interested to break that mold. The lyrics are pretty thoughtless on this album, but it's easily justified by saying that The Hangmen are simply a rock n' roll band. The Hangmen are unapologeticly post-punk in its truest and most unadulterated form. Bands like Blink 182 should be scared shitless of bands like this.

-Tyler Jacobson

Track Listing:
1. Downtown
2. Bliss
3. Broke, Drunk and Stoned
4. Bent
5. Shoot
6. Loners, Junkies & Liquor Stores
7. I LUV U
8. Is That All There Is?
9. Russian Roulette
10. Blue Light

 

 


Mike Doughty



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