Review: Hollywood Undead – American Tragedy
First things first: This is not a heavy-metal record. This is not the next Master of Puppets. This is Hollywood Undead. Deal with it.
For all the crap they seem to get, when evaluated on their own terms, these masked maniacs have put together one hell of an album that will leave fans’ heads buzzing long after the clubs have let out and the hangover sets in. American Tragedy is wildly fun, a head-thumping, booze-chugging, 14 track-long hedonistic binge. The Los Angeles–based rap-rock sextet is relentless in its flows, masterfully mixing tasty beats with catchy choruses and enough distorted guitars to give its songs a gritty, metallic halo. The group’s first album, 2008′s surprise smash Swan Songs, was an impressive mix of tongue-in-cheek rhymes atop bleak, apocalyptic rock-inspired tracks. And Hollywood Undead pick up where they left off with this follow-up, which bounces from start to finish with very few low points. “Been to Hell” is a scorching opener and the album closer, “Tendencies,” is a crushing rap-rock masterpiece. In between, the band experiments a bit with the more Linkin Park–esque “Levitate” and a disturbingly upbeat song about a man attempting suicide, “Bullet.” “Comin’ In Hot” is a party anthem destined for endless play in clubs. The weaker points in the record are the ballads, “Coming Back Down” and “Pour Me,” but these are easily forgotten among the album’s many undeniably addictive future hits.
In the ironically self-aware “Apologize,” the band proclaims, “We don’t apologize, and that’s just the way it is.” Haters will hate, but that won’t stop the oncoming party riot that is Hollywood Undead. And, really, when it’s this fun, why fight it? JEREMY BORJON