Let’s face it. No matter how much hate may come their way, Rise Records deserves at least some credit for their achievements as a record label. With a roster composed of bands ranging from the likes of Man Overboard and The Early November to The Acacia Strain and Of Mice & Men— not to mention former bands like Breathe Carolina and The Devil Wears Prada— the company has been the foundation for some big names in the scene today. However, the source of their dis-credibility stems from their generic, and sometimes just flat-out unappealing, releases. Unfortunately, American Me’s III falls directly into that category.
Originally put together as a side project of metalcore band It Prevails back in 2006, the Portland, Oregon natives soon ditched the daunting ‘side-project’ label and decided to go full time. Fast-forward to August 2012, two full-lengths and an EP later, the band is gearing up for their fittingly titled third full-length, III.
The album can be thoroughly described in one word: angry. Clocking in at just shy of 23 minutes, with only the last two tracks breaking the 3-minute mark, to say III is fast paced would be a severe understatement. While short songs are by no means a bad thing, the problem with the ones found this album is the fact that they blend together so seamlessly that none of them have any sort of identity. If one is not paying attention while listening to III, they could easily burn through three or four songs without even noticing.
Surprisingly enough, regardless of III’s length, it can somewhat be compared to a rap album in the sense of how many guest vocalists it features. “Submissioner,” the first song the band released off the album, features average growls from Vincent Bennett, front man for The Acacia Strain. The following track features It Prevails vocalist Ian Fike. Later on the album, we hear a letdown of a performance by I Declare War’s Jamie Hanks on “Veni Vidi Vici,” and then bounce back with the highlight of the entire album, Remembering Never’s Peter Kowalsky on “Son of a Machine Gun Pt. III.”