Originally from Detroit, MI, Guy Freedom English started playing guitar as a teenager after hearing AC/DC, followed by Metallica and Iron Maiden who increased his love for powerful screaming guitars. Through the 90’s English played countless shows all across the Detroit scene and recorded two studio EP’s with One Man Down and Losing Reality, as well as having the opportunity to open shows for Jamie St. James, Prong and Sonata Arctica. A struggling musician, English returned to school to earn his Electronics Degree before moving to South Dakota to build a career in factory automation. After the band he played in fell apart Guy stopped playing music altogether concentrating on his technical career. Seven years later he received an amplifier from his family on Father’s Day. This rekindled his performing spirit, and soon he started playing guitar again. He also acquired drums and bass guitar equipment and proceeded to record music with a 4 track in his basement.
The result of Guy Freedom English’s efforts can be heard on his 8 track classic rock album “American Made”. Perfect for long rides and stopovers at biker bars and other places on the road. The energy of this rocker comes through, and it’s contagious. English does nothing that hasn’t been done before in one form or another.
However he does it damn well, as an updated, in many instances improved version of many different performers, from an era of rock that has since completely lost its way. The whole is as good as the sum of its parts and better than most classic metal or rock that’s come out in a long time.
No pretension, no gloss, “American Made” is about as raw, raucous and unrefined as you can hope to hear in the social media era. Unfortunately, with the state of music these days and in particular, current rock radio stations, this project will almost certainly not receive the airplay it deserves.
Hence if you like your rock bone crushingly wicked and uncontaminated by pop trappings, you’ll have to hunt this one down on your own steam. This is strait forward, great guitar oriented rock n’ roll. High octane stuff, “American Made” is a throwback to the classic rock era of the 70’s and even early 80’s when albums usually contained less than ten songs.
This was due to the technology of vinyl which would only allow a certain amount of music before the sound quality started to deteriorate because of thinning grooves. It was a time when musical and lyrical concepts fitted together compactly as one powerhouse unit. This is what Guy Freedom English delivers with this album.
Crunchy blues guitar starts off the opener “Scream” as English gets edgy with his vocal. The title track, “American Made” follows with a lusher grinding bottom end, and layered guitar motifs. The vocals are even more urgent. Clean strumming and a steady paced voice leads in “Standing In The Rain”, before Cyberspace introduces some driving riffs.
There are many outstanding rock n’ roll tracks on the album. Some of my choice favorites were the driving anthemic sound of “Take Me Back to D.P.R.K.”, and the guitar muscle of “Dressed To Kill” and “Broken Wings”. This latter track probably being the catchiest and best cut on the album for me.
Guitar virtuosity takes the reigns on the album closer “Walk Alone”, as Guy Freedom English, shreds and struts his stuff across the six minute playing time. There is no denying the power in these songs, nor the perseverance of an artist who interrupted his passion for almost an eternity before finding his way back to the grindstone.
Drums, guitars, and bass are dynamic and loud. The voice is abrasive and taut. The arrangements are sometimes anthemic and to the point, adventurous and exploratory at others. With “American Made”, Guy Freedom English has crafted an organic recording – using a 4-track machine – that can confidently stand alongside esteemed works from his peers.