Sometimes all it takes for an artist to go from obscurity to stardom is the chance to hit a bigger stage. The GRAMMY Amplifier program, in partnership with Hyundai, is giving independent artists a chance to make their voices heard. The program’s panel of expert curators — including Big Sean, Lzzy Hale, and Sam Hunt — chose three winners who will be able to link up with some of the world’s most-accomplished music industry veterans who serve as artist mentors. American Bombshell, one of this year’s winners, don’t need any help playing loud, but they’re ready to bring their gritty revival of no-frills American rock to a bigger audience with GRAMMY Amplifier’s help.
There are times when you want layered, orchestral compositions from a band. The kind of music where you can grab a nice, rare IPA, turn the speakers to a civilized volume and chill. Other times, you just want a band that kicks down the door down. That’s American Bombshell. “We were all looking for something a little more straight ahead and in your face with simple writing, and if it’s sounds good we play it,” Jason Carr, the band’s drummer, told SPIN.
The Indianapolis rockers are making music that harkens back to the golden age of blunt force rock’n’roll. Searing guitar riffs, drum kits on the edge of evisceration, and gritty, gravelly vocals, they’re all there on every American Bombshell track, and tie a thread through their February album No Regrets. You can hear the steady, driving rhythm of Metallica and Motörhead in standout tracks like “Tattooz ‘n’ Booze” and the blues-inflected hard rock of Guns ‘n Roses in “Like the Rest.” That no-bullshit approach earned the Indy rockers a spot in the GRAMMY Amplifier’s winner’s circle this year, a position they’re hoping can shine a light on their tightly knit but underappreciated local rock scene in Indiana. “We really want everyone out there to go out and check out their local original music scene, especially right here in Indianapolis,” guitarist Andy Nixon told SPIN, “All these big national bands used to be local bands at some point.” Don’t be surprised when American Bombshell make the leap themselves.