Local Review: Black Cum – American Imbecile
Local Music Reviews
Black Cum = Black Cum
What words could one use to describe Black Cum? “Genius,” “innovators” and “visionaries” come to mind, but I believe it was best said in their previous full-length release, Black Cum Is the Be$t Band on the Planet… and This is Black Cum’s Be$t Album. Once a band has released a magnum opus of that caliber (just look at the title), it is difficult to follow up with an album to match its stature. Of course, any lesser band would have imploded under the pressure of having to release a second masterpiece in only a mere month, but we are talking about the alleged best band on the planet here, and even their best album pales in comparison to the unparalleled brilliance of American Imbecile.
Now, I know what you readers are thinking: “Hey! Isn’t that just a blatant ripoff of Green Day’s most critically acclaimed album? You know, the one that won a Grammy, inspired a Broadway musical, and pretty much defined their career?” I know, it may seem that this album is riding off of the popularity of Green Day’s biggest contribution to modern music, but … it’s not. I prefer to see the similarities as Black Cum simply paying homage to the alleged “punk rock opera” with their own flavor and twists thrown in.
The album, containing one track, clocks in at 13 minutes and 58 seconds—which makes it the shortest album in their discography, but also their longest song, which would put it in high rankings for the longest punk rock song ever recorded. Eat your heart out, NOFX! “The Decline” is old news! This punk rock extravagance sounds as if it had been recorded by the latest and greatest studio equipment supplied by Fisher Price, whose quality rivals the earliest Robert Johnson recordings.
In the first two minutes, the familiar melodies of “American Idiot” will resonate with any diehard fan, but stripping the music down to its barebones structure is a bold move, no doubt gambling the patronage of the mass Green Day fanbase. Instead of a polished guitar sound, we get a scratchy and distorted three-chord mantra, and instead of auto-tuned vocals, we get raspy, high-pitched screeches of reimagined lyrics like “Don’t wanna be an American imbecile / Don’t wanna be Billy Joe Armstrong!” with multiple renditions that follow. It would be catastrophic if this album received anything short of the praise its source material received. If anything, it deserves to forego those accolades and receive the honor higher than any Grammy—the No. 1 spot on Rolling Stone’s “Top 500 Albums of All Time.” –Eric U. Norris