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And They Rode Their Weapons Into War

The American Black Lung

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Album Review

When rock first started rolling, preachers of many persuasions condemned it as the Devil's music. Their views haven't shifted much in the ensuing decades, but many in the evangelical community's have. Deciding that maybe Satan had the right idea, they've chosen to turn his weapon against him; all hail the coming of Christian rock. The American Black Lung are the latest to enter the fray with their album ...And They Rode Their Weapons into War. But which war they're referring to is a little difficult to distinguish. Presumably the werewolves, walking corpses, vultures, snakes, and serpents that slink around their obscure lyrics are allegorical, although what precisely they represent isn't always clear. What is apparent, though, is that the band is disgusted by much of American life, its consumer society, and its violent tendencies. What's cloudier are the political undertones, which ebb toward the antiwar, but are so obscured in dramatic metaphor that whatever message the Lung are trying to deliver is lost in translation. So where's God in all this? Missing in action, so to speak, for there's no love here, nor mercy either, adding to the fatality of the set and its apocalyptic nature. That doomsday feeling is reinforced by the aggressive music and the shouted, sometimes screamed vocals. An incendiary mix of hardcore and hard rock, with a dollop of garage rock and a sliver of metal thrown in for good measure, the Lung storm across this set. Melodies are sometimes secondary to the thundering riffs, with the rhythms more varied than one would expect, a reflection of the current fashion for resurrecting the more experimental sounds of the post-punk era. All told, though, Weapons is an exceedingly meaty set, with plenty to chew over both musically and lyrically.

Biography

Formed: 2003 in Tucson, AZ

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

The American Black Lung got together in 2003 and began blasting a cocky and hard-hitting mix of hardcore, metal, and garage rock out of their hometown of Tucson, Arizona. With influences including Black Flag, the MC5, Norma Jean and the Stooges, the band — comprised of singer Diamond Rhino, guitarist/vocalist Johnny Detroit, bassist/vocalist Dhusty Rhodes, guitarist Easy E, and drummer W. Moon — released its debut full-length, …And They Rode Their Weapons Into War, in August 2006 on local...
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And They Rode Their Weapons Into War, The American Black Lung
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