Friday, June 21, 2024

American Screams & Rear Naked Choke

Modern metal act Rear Naked Choke, hail from Abilene, Texas in the USA and have a new EP out in American Screams that’s available digitally now, with a CD release to follow near the beginning of October. 

Recorded at Abilene’s Fire Ant Studios, American Screams was produced by the band themselves along with Collin Bryson and overseen by Drowning Pool guitarist CJ Pierce, who had helmed the band’s self-titled debut album but was unavailable for the day to day commitment needed for their latest release. 

“Over the course of working with CJ on the previous album we became really good friends, explained guitarist Chris Summers. “Our plan was to work with CJ again but his commitments with Drowning Pool kept that from happening. So instead, he helped us out in an advisory role. We would send him the rough tracks and demos and he gave us feedback on his thoughts to make the songs stronger.“

Tracking for American Screams began in late 2022. Two days after the main guitar tracks were done Summers broke and dislocated two fingers on his left (fretting) hand. It took about five months for him to recover from the injury and there was fear he may not get 100% use back in those fingers. Thankfully everything healed and he quickly returned to full use of his hand.

“So I wish I could say that I injured them doing something epic like stage diving or rock climbing or MMA training, but it wasn’t anything cool at all,” the guitarist revealed, explaining, “I was working on putting up some fencing and I was using a post driver to pound in some T-posts. Well, the post driver caught the top edge of the post and twisted around and the weighted top slammed down into my fingers. It broke my ring finger (spiral break) and dislocated my middle finger pretty badly. All good now though, luckily and thanks to some good doctors and therapists. Real rock n roll, huh?!”

American Screams is the band’s first effort to include the major songwriting contributions of guitarist, Josh Finch and drummer, Paul Kidd. Both have brought some new elements into Rear Naked Choke and while the distinct band sound is present, the additional influences and personalities have added a new dimension to the mix.

“Josh and Paul have really brought some different influences into the band, having had much more involvement in the riffs and structures that ending up being the basis of several of the songs,” Summers said. “The title track, ‘American Screams’ is a prime example. Josh came up with the main riff and was messing around with it at one of our practices one day and it was a good solid heavy riff. Eventually Paul picked up on it and he started adding in some drum beats with it and that’s really where the whole thing became something special.

“Paul’s sense of rhythm isn’t what I’d call your typical metal drumming. While he can 100% play that way his phrasing and rhythmic sensibilities definitely pushed the song in a direction that took it to a more interesting and compelling sound. Josh is also amazing at creating harmonies and keeping things sonically interesting without being distracting. So, the two of them have really helped to push us all into being better song writers and musicians.”

The five songs on American Screams are said to reflect the current state of, not only the United States but the world at large, while also touching on subjects as varied as love (recapturing the love or enjoyment of something you once had or, in the case of ‘4 Bolt Main’, frontman Mick Taylor’s love of classic vehicles), and good times. 

Along with the release of the American Screams EP, the band has also released a lyric video for the title track, as created by Abdul Rehman, that you can check out here at RAMzine.

The American Screams EP can be downloaded on Apple Music and streamed on Spotify.

Paul H Birch
Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

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