So who exactly are this “American Head Charge” that the Wyrd Ways Rock Show’s Terror Twins keep plastering over social media?
(left to right: Karma Cheema, Justin Fowler, Cameron Heacock, Chad Hanks, Ted Hallows and Chris Emery. Photo credit to come!)
They are in fact the band who refuse to stay down. As this is being written, their crowdfunding campaign has recently surpassed the original target for the recording and promotion of a new full length album, and it is two weeks until they return to Donington for their first Download Festival appearance since reforming. You probably already know at least one of their songs, but you just don’t know who sings it.
It has not been an easy road for them, and after a multitude of lineup changes and tweaks the founding members of Chad Hanks (bass) and Cameron Heacock (vocals) are surrounded by long term Headcharge members Chris Emery (drums), Justin Fowler (keyboards) and Karma Cheema (guitar) with the latest addition to the lineup Ted Hallows (guitar) joining in 2013.
The song that everyone will know, is Just So You Know, from their 250,000 selling breakthrough album The War of Art. This was the album that got them noticed, and landed them support slots for names as large as Slipknot, Slayer and Rammstein. It was a sign of the times that American Head Charge were placed under the umbrella of “Nu Metal” despite their industrial and heavy rock sound.
For a band who were conceived in rehab, the touring cycle was always going to take its toll, and the tumultuous time culminated in a departure from their recording contract prior to laying down their follow up album The Feeding. It is during the tour for this album supporting Mudvayne that guitarist Bryan Ottoson passed away on April 19th 2005. The rest of the band continued, releasing a DVD/CD entitled Can’t Stop the Machine in 2007, which was to be their last release before disbanding officially in 2009.
Wait? Didn’t I just say they refused to die?
Yes. Yes I did.
They’re back, in perhaps one of the most spectacular comebacks in industrial metal. Teasing myspace and twitter hints, a new facebook page, and a self released EP called Shoot later, American Head Charge embarked on a massive tour, including the UK (see the review here). They’re refusing to sign to record labels and are committed again to make the music they want to. The end of the indiegogo campaign saw a demo teaser released for the upcoming album due September 2014.
If you want to know what they sound like, it’s a strange and amazing combination of industrial, hard rock, and alternative metal. There are violent shouts and growls with gentle melodies that will have you singing along.
The tracks you need to check out are:
Song For The Suspect
To Be Me
All Wrapped Up
and of course… Just So You Know.