Is it Metal? – “American Band” by Grand Funk Railroad

First off, my apologies to any and all readers for the long hiatus. My wife and I recently had a new addition to the family, and those of you who are parents surely know that babies are massive time vortices, sucking in any and all free moments from your sleep-deprived, zombie-like clutches. As a matter of fact, I’m surprised babies haven’t been the subject of more testing by experimental physicists, as they surely bend the laws of time and space in their near vicinity. Besides the time thing, their gravitational pull is also far higher than it has any right to be, as my leaden, baby-lugging arms can attest to.

Anyway, I figured the best way to get back into the active blogosphere was to ease myself in slowly, and what better way to do so than with a short ‘Is it Metal?’ post. This week, I’m featuring Grand Funk Railroad’s 1973 hit “We’re an American Band.”

Wikipedia says: It’s not metal.

My take: This one is pretty clear-cut. The song is heavy and certainly loud, but it’s not metal. From lead singer (at least on this track) Don Brewer’s gruff, bravado-infused voice to the prominent funky bass to the thematic elements, this song is full on American hard rock from the start and dang good hard rock at that.

However, that hasn’t stopped heavy metal artists such as Poison and Rob Zombie from tackling the song in cover form. I’ve included some links for your perusal, but honestly, I wouldn’t bother listening to them if I were you. The covers are poor at best. Grand Funk Railroad’s gruff, hearty original  is hard to beat, but beyond that, the song as a whole just doesn’t lend itself very well to a metal version.

One note to end on: I’ll try to start a more regular posting schedule again, but quantity will probably not reach pre-baby levels anytime soon. Still, you should expect more than one post every other month from here on out.

Image credits: Featured image by Ben Schumin (SchuminWeb) (CC BY-SA 2.0), via Flickr.

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