As psycho therapy, 'We Have Come For Your Parents' is the pipe-bomb.
They’ve clearly never worn shorts in their lives. In fact, you suspect that if the pallid shroud-flesh of Amen ever came into contact with sunlight, it would instantly crumble into dust, leaving just a tangle of black hair and a cloud of bad attitude.
That they choose to exist amid the glare and glitter of Los Angeles only proves their ferocious commitment to the dark side, and casts them as predatory vigilantes enforcing their own kind of rock justice.
“This is a city of the dead”, snarls singer Casey Chaos on the uric rancour of ‘Piss Virus’, and it’s hard to tell from his saw-toothed drawl whether he’s observing or plotting. For among the sloppy petulance and craven competitiveness of the Limp Bizkit brigade, Amen exude genuine rage, as raw and retina-warping as meths. Forget the jocks; this is bloodsports metal.
In fact, Amen have more issues than a daytime TV phone-in, a compendium of rage that in less horribly scarred psyches could be nothing but a litany of anger-management manual clichés. Angst might be the currency that buys the Beverley Hills mansions, yet Amen sound like they would be more at home in a storm drain; the dank generation in full sulphurous flood. There’s no sense, as with the smart-rock so creatively forged by Queens Of The Stone Age or At The Drive-In, that once they’ve finished with the riffs, it’s time to seduce you with the desert stars and a bit of political theory. Light on the ‘nu-‘ and heavy on the ‘metal’, much of this record is unrecon-structed like Pompeii.
“I go to work/I pay the bills/I suck your cock”, screeches Chaos on the venomous skitter of ‘In Your Suit’, and that’s pretty much the measure of the rage here. You can understand why producer Ross Robinson, a man obviously worried for his mortal soul after his role as midwife at the birth of sports metal (not to mention his work with Vanilla Ice), was so keen to get involved.
There isn’t a single hint of pantomime, no self-parodic angst. You doubt they know what Napster is, let alone give a damn. Instead, they just flip the hinge in their heads and let the Amen breakdown begin. ‘The Waiting’ and ‘Mayday’ are sticky with The Stooges, fried on medication, and furious with the USA; ‘The Price Of Reality’ is the last word in chant-a-long paranoia, all truth and lies and “human assembly lines”, a DC Comics take on [I]The Matrix[/I], while ‘Ungrateful Dead’ joins Ozzy Osbourne in a loose cannon salute.
Disgusted, frustrated, paranoid; it’s hard to imagine what could help them with their minds. But as psycho therapy, ‘We Have Come For Your Parents’ is the pipe-bomb.