Multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Ben Sommer contacted me towards the beginning of 2011, to review his album ‘america‘d‘. I have to be honest when I saw the cover art, it looked more like it could be for some hardcore punk rock band. I then began to listen to the music and I found it to be some kind of hybrid between punk & progressive rock.
Ben has some musicians that help him flesh out his music. Besides Ben, George Arsenault (drums) is on every track. You can see the other musicians on Ben’s site as they‘re too numerous to name here. Besides this review is all about the music.
Before I continue, I must warn you, if you don’t have a sense of humor then please look elsewhere because the subject matter is very brash especially with titles like “Speekie Engrish” (4:52) of which I view it as a gentler “Speak English Or Die” by S.O.D. Another title that is not for the faint hearted, “Little Hitlers” (3:20). Another warning sign for the closed-minded is a swastika on the cover.
The bulk of the songs have more in common with punk rock than with progressive rock except on “Sumerian Proletarian” (4:52) which borders between world music and progressive rock. I can honestly say this is my favorite off the entire album. I would have loved have heard more like this.
There’s one song on this album that I could have done with out, “Kill The Estrogen Queens“ (6:03), which happens to be the longest track on the album. There‘s elements of rap music incorporated in it.
If you’re expecting an all out progressive rock album or even a progressive pop album, you’ll be very unhappy. Now if you’re an open-minded music “connoisseur”, then this will be a welcomed addition to your music collection. The only downside, and a minor one, is this album is only 35 minutes, which is very uncommon these days, especially where some bands feel the need to cram in ‘filler’ to take up the 80 minutes of a cd.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on March 29th, 2011