AMERICAN MAN

KERRANG! ISSUE 284 APRIL 1990

The Whisky, Hollywood, CA

AMERICAN MAN is former Black ‘N Blue guitarist Tommy Thayer’s new outfit, and after tonight’s viewing I have nothing but high hopes for them.

All things that B’N’B lacked or suffered from are nowhere to been seen or heard, and with a bit more seasoning I predict that this outfit will not only cop a deal rather quickly, but make quite a bit of noise once they do grab that elusive piece of paper.

‘Power Generation’ served as a strong introduction to the four-piece, with a crunching riff that offset a strong, melodic chorus. Brian Jennings handled the lead break, proving early on that Thayer is willing to share the stage and attention.

The chording to ‘Bad Blood’ kicked in immediately after and it proved to be an early set highlight and allowed bassist/vocalist Todd Jensen to shine vocally.

Make no mistake about it – Jensen has it! Besides doing a fine job of both singing and plunking the four strings, Jensen served as the outfit’s visual focal point. Between a frantic and enthusiastic stage presence that had him visiting every square centimetre of the boards and his powerful, yet smooth vocals, Jensen proved to be quite a frontman – especially for one that had double duty!

Drummer Kevin Muriel pounded for all he was worth, giving ‘Break Down The Walls’, ‘American Man’ and ‘The Unforgiven’ the kind of kick and crunch that few drummers I’ve seen recently are delivering, while ‘Ballad Of The Bullet’ was the solitary slow track of tonight’s show.

‘Knocking At Your Door’ and the epic ‘Red Asphalt’ got an airing tonight as well, and it I had to offer a comparison soundwise to anybody, I’d mention Skid Row, Kiss, B’N’B of course, and maybe even a bit of Aerosmith and Bad Company. It’s a classy rock sound that’s long on substance and style.

A cover of Rock Candy’ was well done, and the obligatory B’N’B number in the form of ‘Chain Around Heaven’ was a fine finisher that hit with considerably more power and punch than the original version ever did.

Thayer looked and sounded good, Jennings proved to be a strong supporting guitarist, and as for Muriel and Jensen. they’re gonna be stars!

American Man are fresh and exciting in a way that doesn’t reek of the current Hollywood scene; they’ve got the tunes, they’ve got the look, but they don’t have the tattoos or drug habits that some seem to think are obligatory for an LA rock band!

Good show – now just watch ‘em go!

BRIAN BRANDES BRINKERHOFF