America: Homecoming (Warner Bros.)

IMAGINE IF YOU WILL, a kid that does a soul-wrenching ( I mean this literally) job of imitating Neil Young. The whiny little creep down the street who sits on kitchen tables and plunks his guitar for anyone who’ll listen.

Said creep joins up with a couple other creeps who do a lame CS&N imitation. The three of them pool their talents and discover that together, though the wonder of collective effort, they can do a really lame SNC&Y imitation. They gig around the neighborhood, performing for free at this year’s version of mellowed out pot parties. They choose a name for their musical coalition. They call it: America.

What Eddie Cochran, the Seeds, and Grand Funk did for rock’n’roll – reaffirm that any kid with a guitar and the will to rock could become a rock’n’roll star – America have done for the placeboized mush of the present. Really, man. It doesn’t matter how lame, how dippy you are…you can be as big as James Taylor. The lamer the better, in fact – make Sweet Baby James look like a veritable ivory-towered musical cerebral. I might go further, and say that these guys are what Bread would like to be, but lemme use an analogy instead: take a piece of bread (probably white bread), drench it in a quart of milk until it’s soggier than yesterday’s newspaper left out in the rain, and eat it. That’s America.

A fair record review is supposed to include some discussion of the music at hand. Well, off fairness because – except for two songs, ‘Only In Your Heart’ and ‘Till The Sun Comes Up’, decent Bee gees imitations by the guy without the Neil Young voice – I absolutely refuse to discuss music as incredibly, mind-bogglingly stultifying as this drool is.

You think we rock writers take all our promos down to the record store pronto for cash and trade-ins. Hah! At this moment I am sitting in my favorite chair, slowly grinding America’s new album into a million bits onto the living room floor, while repeating to myself the following: “I hate this record. I hate it more than anything I have ever heard before…”

At least, that is, since the last Chicago album. If that doesn’t give you some idea of how numbingly offensive America are, I hope someone gives you this album for Christmas. It’s records like this one that make me think the world is coming to an end.

© Metal Mike SaundersPhonograph Record, December 1972

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