WARNING: Heart Attack Man would like to emphasize that their sophomore LP, Fake Blood, contains explicit content and has been issued a Parental Advisory rating. As their deliberate classification and promotion of the album as such, it will without a doubt actually contain themes that may not be suitable for all listeners to enjoy.
Some listeners have reported experiencing:
- An abnormal hunger for justice
- The unintentional achievement of Certified Badassery
- Temporary hearing loss
- The sensation of living life on a new and improved plane of existence
Talk to your doctor or local club bouncer if you think you may have experienced any of the symptoms listed above.
**LISTENER DISCRETION IS ADVISED**
Okay. Now that’s out of the way, go ahead and grab a big bag of baby carrots, your $10,000 orange beanie and let’s talk a bit about FAKE BLOOD!!
As a fan of Heart Attack Man I am aware the band prefers their listeners interpret HAM’s music however they see fit. With that in mind, please feel free to comment below or find me on Twitter to compare interpretations or even simply talk how you feel about this new release!
Now, let’s get down to business.
“Fake Blood,” the album’s title track, sets the tone for the record, both lyrically and sonically. The song begins with the typical thick, melodic hard rock riffs that HAM has perfected and sprinkles in a series of bright notes that make the intro a bit more lively and effectively kicks the album off on a welcoming note. “Fake Blood” introduces a couple of lyrical themes that are revisited in later tracks, essentially establishing that this album will revolve around the process of willingly removing detrimental influences in order to take control of, and improve, one’s quality of life.
Staying true to their roots, Heart Attack Man skillfully harnesses the power of perfectly timed, grungy hooks alongside a tantalizing chorus-to-bridge build-up. The freshly-honed edges of a more-defined and deliberate sound helps to facilitate and incorporate the raw emotional energy that emerges from the dark undertones presented as the focus of the new Fake Blood era.
“Blood Blister” presents the band’s growth since their debut full-length, The Manson Family. This track begins with a familiar defeated, almost lamenting lyrical theme but with the help of some twinkley, lighthearted notes the song turns around and proves that our lyricist has in fact changed his tune and outlook on life.
Both “Low Hanging Fruit” and “Moths In A Lampshade” shed light on common modern societal vices with each track conceptualized and executed in a wildly different manner. “Low Hanging Fruit” is a very short, sarcastic song that hits hard and fast, bringing to light society’s tendency to be content with low-effort attempts at gaining information and happiness. “Moths In A Lampshade” is slower and almost shoe-gazey. The use of Eric Egan’s lower vocal range and gothy reverb fits nicely with lyrics like “you are the first to know but last to understand,” to drive home the point that information is generally useless without the ability to think for one’s self and synthesize the information around you.
Sandwiched conveniently between these two songs that criticize the rigid constructs of our societal norms is the second and final single pre-released, “Out For Blood” and its response, “Rats In A Bucket.” “Out For Blood” was inspired by the 1993 film, Falling Down, and represents the frustrations of living in absolute conformity, only to wake up and realize it can only ever lead to a less-than-average life. The easy-going, playful flow of this track masks the jaded frustration bubbling below the surface.
“Rats In A Bucket” marks the sudden enlightenment and culmination of negativity that’s festered until this point in the album. Going back to the rich and powerful classic Heart Attack Man riffs, this track represents Egan’s realization that we each own our choices; we have the ability to control our own happiness. As Egan chooses to “take your name off [his] hit list,” he is taking control of his own happiness and chooses to remove any unnecessary negativity from his life. This concept is echoed and amplified in “Cut My Losses,” a simple bass-driven song that boasts probably the most powerful hooks on the album.
The final few tracks of Fake Blood reap the results of all the pent up rage that’s been accumulating along the way. In “Crisis Actor,” choppy grunge riffs and a reckless energy drive the story as Egan confronts yet another superficial relationship that’s affecting his well-being. This track blends right into “Asking For It,” as a hearty “OOOGH” and post-hardcore breakdown greets the listener with more angry, fast-paced punk rock hooks and riffs paired with some delightfully tasty backup vocals. This track spells out the definitive shift Egan has made since The Manson Family– he’s not that dude you knew back in high school.
“Sugar Coated” is the second to last song on the album and it comes out swinging for the fences. The blinding speed at which this song goes from its mellow introductory riffs to all-out chaos suggests that we should please keep our hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times. This fascinating roller-coaster of a song utilizes many different musical techniques, tempos, and instrumental emphasis that when pieced together, is able to beautifully convey the sheer outrage and angst being expressed in this song.
The cherry on top of this sundae of pissed-off, misanthropic-narrative is the slow, deliberate accentuation of society’s worst possible traits throughout the final track, “The Choking Game.” The song neatly ties up the lyrical narrative and ends with what seems to be a de-escalation of musical urgency and an exhausted source of emotion. This skillfully packaged ending to such an unwieldy, perplexing idea speaks volumes of Heart Attack Man’s dedication and conceptual flow when it comes to Fake Blood. This band’s unbridled grasp on social media (see: “What Artists Can Learn From the Marketing Genius of HAM”), paired with its unrivaled, authentic creativity and DIY mentality seems to suggest big things on the horizon for Heart Attack Man. It is no surprise that HAM has amassed a dedicated fanbase, lovingly called the Baby Carrot Gang after Egan’s favorite snack.
In the meantime, go catch up on Eric’s promo video antics on the band’s Twitter account and listen to Fake Blood, due out April 12, 2019 via Triple Crown Records, until your ears fall off!! Catch Heart Attack on tour supporting Seaway with special guests Free Throw and Young Culture.