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
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.
3. Broke, Drunk and Stoned
6. Loners, Junkies & Liquor Stores
7. I LUV U
8. Is That All There Is?
9. Russian Roulette
10. Blue Light