Five Finger Death Punch
Got Your Six
The following people should not listen to this record, unless they wish to feel offended: pacifists, Christians, intellectuals, anti-Americans, and finally, people who hate rock that’s trying to be fun. And this is exactly why Got Your Six, Five Finger Death Punch’s sixth offering, is a fantastic release.
FFDP are much like AC/DC or Slayer: you know exactly what every new album will sound like before you hear it. In Five Finger’s case, their second output, War Is The Answer, established the blueprint they continually rehash. But, this formula is bulletproof (no pun intended), and so, unsurprisingly, the new record is unashamedly brilliant. Enormous, chugging riffs from Zoltan Bathory and Jason Hook underpin the record, which will get crowds bouncing and moshing their hearts out. When they go four-four, such as on Wash It All Away, their infectious riffing is unstoppable and the solos repeatedly tear your face off. The production helps enormously to enhance such a crushing sonic assault.
The gang vocals on Jekyll and Hyde’s chorus are unavoidably catchy and the staccato punch of No Sudden Movement will have you head-banging instantly. Their inevitable ballad takes the form of Digging My Own Grave, which sways along nicely with an arena-ready chorus. Unlike their previous creative output, the double record The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, which featured cover songs and guest performances, the focus of this album is solely upon Five Finger Death Punch. The result is that when they perform their own songs, FFDP are a world-class heavy rock group, capable of success on their own terms.
Famous for their support of the American army and military-themed music, tunes like the title track explicitly continue this tradition. The content remains violent: No Sudden Movement’s chorus details shooting down an opponent (‘right between your eyes, no place to hide, click-clack, reload’) and Boots and Blood wishes death upon enemies, with so many F-bombs Fred Durst would be proud. For those who dislike Americanism, avoid this record like the plague, as it could not be more American. For those of you who like big riffs, fun, and arena-filling choruses but hate Nickelback, which you all should, FFDP are your band. This is music to lift weights, run marathons, or, indeed, invade countries to.
FFDP ARE MUSIC’S MOST OBNOXIOUS BAND, AND THAT’S PRECISELY WHY THEY ARE GREAT
In a time of boring indie bands taking themselves far too seriously, FFDP are a much needed dose of unadulterated fun. A very long list of ‘rock’ bands playing it safe today to appeal to as many listeners as possible can easily be produced. However, this expletive-ridden, adrenaline-pumping juggernaut of a record is a chainsaw to the face of beige, politically correct rock bands that mothers enjoy. Rock bands are meant to offend and live life in the fast lane. Who wants their rock bands to be polite? FFDP are music’s most obnoxious band (just look at that completely over the top album cover or their decadent music videos), and that’s precisely why they are great.
Lead singer Ivan Moody is not a Mike Patton or a Trent Reznor. However, this bulldog of a frontman, never caught without camo shorts, is compelling and genuinely unpredictable (as his on-stage meltdown in May proved). Got Your Six also shows that that he can bust out infectious melodies as well as growls as manly as Phil Anselmo. His choruses on Question Everything and Ain’t My Last Dance are built to topple stadiums. One could be pretentious and criticise FFDP’s one-dimensional, predictable musicianship and crude lyrical content. But why would one do that when it sounds this good?
Therefore, they may possess one of worst band names in history and produce music that makes Kid Rock’s work seem thought provoking, but Five Finger Death Punch are undeniably entertaining and get your blood running like no other band. This is big, dumb rock, and it’s great. Make sure you catch them demolish Wembley Arena later this month, along with support act Papa Roach: there may not be an arena left to visit after their musical assault.