AUG is not a contemporary metal band. Fans of Cannibal Corpse and Lamb of God should find somewhere else to headbang ASAP, because this is music that harkens back to the days of the rainbow bar and Iron Maiden, to Bill & Ted & the Kiss Army. You could slip their new album, Be Careful What You Wish For, into a jukebox between early some Ozzy Osbourne and the Stone Temple Pilots and nobody at the bar would notice.
Unfortunately, not unlike their forebearers, AUG starts feeling pretty repetitive and stale after around three songs. Their lyrical palette is somewhat limited, restricting itself to the apocalyptic iconography that was spooking suburban moms decades ago, the same watered down Charles Manson rant we got from Def Leppard and Alice Cooper. I mean the new album’s finale’ is a cover of Toto’s Africa, which is a perfectly cringe inducing combination of toothless and unoriginal.
But I’m being unfair. AUG doesn’t aspire to be the band that will revolutionize rock music, redefine metal, cook your breakfast and do your laundry for you. What it wants to be is a solid throwback band that would feel at home in the mid-1980s, and it does that perfectly. The best thing to do with their new album album is to cut it up and splice the best songs (Be Careful What You Wish For, Light of Day, and All I Can Be, all available through Soundcloud below) into your hard rock playlist. People at your next barbeque are going to freak the hell out when they ask about the music and find out it’s a band they’ve never heard of. As far as they know, nobody’s been making this sort of music for decades.
As for AUG themselves, keep an eye on them. They obviously have a deep, authentic love for the genre, so it’ll undoubtedly be interesting if they ever actually decide to do something original with it.
AUG is a band worthy to bear the hair metal torch. And, since that seems to be about all they really aspire to do, one hopes that they’d take that as it’s meant-as a compliment.