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John Dissed – American University

John Dissed
American University
by John Foley at 28 April 2021, 6:41 AM

“American University" is the follow up to the 2012 album “Red Flag" by JOHN DISSED. Back with more politically charged lyrical content with a classic rock n roll twist and released to the world back in February 2021 (although a google search says it dates back to 2018). With this album the subject surrounding the JOHN F. KENNEDY assassination is the subject matter with a reported 5 years of research involved in the subject to prepare for the album.

The first song up is the title track “American University” which opens with sound of the reels rolling. In comes in a quite catchy classic rock guitar riff which is accompanied by some bluesy lead guitar licks. This one does have a very catchy chorus with a mix of some acoustic guitars as the outer fades out. After that we get “Dirty Business” which opens with a storm brewing. This song has a bit of a punk vibe to it that reminded me a little of THE RAMONES. It has a simple chorus that you can sing along with and the song lifts up towards the end with some added acoustic guitars and lyrics that are clearly about corruption within the government.

After that we have “Mister Megalomaniac”. This one has a nice easy pace to it with some guitar strumming. With this track their winsome added keyboards/synth that helps lift the chorus a little and trying to go for a big sounding guitar solo. Lyrics here are addressing looking for answers. “Lambs to the Slaughter” opens with a phone ringing with rocking guitar chords answering the call. The lyrics, to me anyway, seem to be leaning towards a framing of LEE HARVEY OSWALD. The song goes for big sounding choruses but just almost gets there.

With an intro of a crowd and the sounds from a press conference we get the song “The World is not the Real World". A catchy bass line opens the track as the guitars and drums jump in on top. The lyrics are addressing the aftermath the the JOHN F. KENNEDY assassination and possibly the conspiracies around it. But from listening the song does also have some pretty cool lead licks and guitar solo. The final song on the album and we have “Gratitude” the intro tries to build up to something big but doesn’t quite get there. The song is catchy at times and goes for a big sound on this one. The lyrics seem to be about JFK and the sacrifices he made for the people and all the good he wanted to do. As the album closes out we get a quote from JOHN F. KENNEDY talking about peace.

The album is filled with some catchy guitar lines and some decent vocals that reminded me of JOE STRUMMER from THE CLASH. There is a lot of spoken word intros to help carry along the albums narrative. The politically charged lyrics at times are very in your face, and can come across as trying to be a little edgy which can be hard to tell if it’s being informing or a conspiracy theory. But one thing to take is that JOHN DISSED put a lot of work into researching the subject of the JOHN F. KENNEDY assassination which really shows.

Songwriting: 5
Memorability: 5
Musicianship: 6
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. American University
2. Dirty Business
3. Mister Megalomaniac
4. Lambs to the Slaughter
5. Blood and Red Rose’s
6. Shutterbug
7. Mary Meyer
8. The World is not the Real World
9. Unspeakable
10. Gratitude
Lineup:
John Dissed – Vocals and Guitars
Hector Ferreiro – Bass
Jess (McQueen) Moscone – Drums
Phil Aiken – Keyboards on “Mister Megalomaniac”
Record Label: Bull Lee Records
     


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