New American Hustle has truly embodied the word prolific in 2020. They’ve released no less than seven other albums over the course of this year so far. Showing no signs of slowing down, we’re excited to be listening to their most recent release, a grunge/hard rock album titled Bury My Black Heart.
New American Hustle is a “virtual” band – that is, core member Ian Smith is based in Merced, CA, and main instrumentalist Alessandro Salza is from Italy. The two have never met in person, rather, they fully collaborate and create music for New American Hustle online. The same goes for vocalists Alena Avenax and Cory Friesenhan as well. This unique aspect to the band has not just allowed their work to be uninhibited by the current pandemic, it has allowed it to thrive. Bury My Black Heart is a collection of sharp guitar riffs, high-level production, unique instrumentation choices, and a solid showing of talent across the board.
“After recording several albums this year, I feel this new album showcases the best of Alessandro’s guitar playing and our approach to driving and heavy rock.”
HERE’S WHAT WE DUG MOST…
The album’s title track, Bury My Black Heart, has a great combination of heaviness contrasted with a fairly smooth and melodic vocal line. Plus, Salza’s guitar chops are really showcased here – he’s a serious player with serious, undeniable skills. (Check out the solo starting at 1:45 and again at 3:03 and you’ll see what we mean).
Crows Sleep has a striking acoustic guitar intro, matched by perfectly haunting female vocals that have a distinctly Evanescence-like feel. The build is slow and unexpected, adding percussion and heavier instrumentation gradually over the length of the track.
Gemini Star Sister really highlights some gorgeous female vocals over a punchy acoustic guitar in the intro. The song progresses into an intriguing hybrid of distorted and spacey tones. The layered, futuristic sounding harmonies are a really great addition to the track.
OUR FAVORITE TRACK…
Death Walks on High Heels is an absolute monster of a track, clocking in at ten minutes and twenty-one seconds long. This is a testament to experimentation within their genre, and between the recognizable melodic phrases, the listener gets to try on all sorts of different tones, drum beats, rhythms, instruments, and more. If you need more convincing that Salza is a man of many talents, this is the track to listen to – the staggering variety of instruments featured is a true testament to his musical skill. We especially like the unexpected acoustic guitar breakdown at 6:38 that builds slowly and seamlessly back into the hard-hitting tones we’ve come to expect from this album. (We also love the flute solo at 8:24). This is a track for the prog-rock lovers that’ll keep you on your toes at every measure.
Expressive, layered instrumentation that imparts heaviness without taking away from the melody. Top-level performances from Alessandro Salza across a dazzlingly wide array of instruments. Precise production choices that allow the strengths in the songs and their melodies to truly shine. Bury My Black Heart is a well-crafted composition of grunge, hard rock, and metal tones, tied together by intricate and complex performances that avoids the predictable and keeps your ears guessing on every track. We hope for many more years of 7+ albums from New American Hustle if they continue on their current trajectory.
BELOW: Check out our full artist interview with New American Hustle, listen to their album Bury My Black Heart and connect with their website and social media platforms. Please support New American Hustle by visiting them online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing their music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!
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