Mike Amerika – ‘In the Business to Burn’ Review
From New Jersey comes the quintessential garage-band sound of two-man group Mike Amerika. Mike Mazzeo on vocals and guitar and Jim Hughes on vocals and bass have used their strong roots in blues and rock n’ roll music to create full-length ‘In the Business to Burn.’
“Rock and Roll Dance Party” and “Gotta Good Girl” epitomize the rock sound of eras past in both their classic chord progressions and subject matter. As with much of the band’s music, you can clearly picture living in the suburbia of mid-twentieth-century America when you hear these tracks.
“Flows Down the Stream” offers a languid musical experience with echoing, faraway vocals and smooth guitar to match the title. It allows the listener to take a step back from the sometimes-thrashing rock in other tracks and enjoy some easy listening about midway through the album.
“Deceit” picks up the speed and adds bite to the album as it questions the entire idea of American Dream and uses loud percussion and wailing guitar to get its soulful point across. It stands as one of the most high energy tracks on the album, along with its successor “All Together.”
To close the album, “Bend Won’t Break” explores a typical American love story and uses a mix of tempos and moods to create an engaging ender. The drawling vocal style creates a certain dejected mood which helps with the storytelling immensely and allows listeners to feel the mood of the protagonist.
Overall, Mike Amerika has captured much of the “American spirit” from past decades in this album while playing it in a low-fi garage-band manner that lacks the studio touches to make it sound particularly polished or synthesized.
Overall rating: 7/10