It’s got to be tough to sit on an album for a minute, but in the case of American Culture, it led to a more finished product for their latest LP, For My Animals. The record was made pre-pandemic, but they chose to sit on it…leading to a path of creativity with the final product; it will feature screen printed covers, hand stamped labels, plus comes with buttons and a mini riso poster. It’s an art piece, not just your average record. Will you dig the music? Well, below you can sample the first single from the record. Each time I listen through I hear a bit of something new. At times, I thought I heard the howl of Iggy, all the way down to the tonal similarities (think “I Wanna Be Your Dog”), but there are some elements that felt like they were bringing in the Boss circa Born in the USA; then they added in some jangles and dreamy guitar lines, leaving you with this collection of indie rock twists and turns that are sure to entice. For My Animals is out on HHBTM on March 19th.
Year-end lists are everywhere…and I can see why they’re important to people. But, seeing as we generally walk off the beaten path more often than not, our list of the Top 50 Albums of 2015 is in no particular order, save alphabetically. It seems pointless to rank one piece of art higher than another, especially when the four of us at ATH all have varying tastes. We just put this list together of the albums we loved the most this year. Are we saying they’re better than records by Grimes or Kendrick Lamar? No, we’re just saying that these are the records we loved more than others. So, you can read on for what we thought was hot.
Also…put links to individual stores where you can buy the albums from the bands…as that’s how we all survive in this music world.
A few months ago, I fell in love with American Culture and their record, Pure American Gum, in all its noisy rock and roll glory. I’m pleased to share with you some raw demos that the band has crafted in the wake of that album. Below is just one of the rough cuts that American Culture has put up on their Soundcloud page, but to me the song sounds pretty great as it is. It’s got that fuzzy, ultra lo-fi production quality to it that we’ve come to expect from the band as well as the hybrid of crisp electric guitar riffs cutting through the whole track. Enjoy the bonus tracks.
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Man, noise rock with catchy pop hooks seems to be everywhere these days, and I am far from complaining. American Culture are a Denver group making bubblegum pop with a noisey twist, and they do this quite well. Pure American Gum is a short yet tantalizing album filled with songs that will win your heart over with their fuzzy goodness.
Really, the buzzy noise rock that American Culture have made for you on this album is delightfully infectious. They bring the punk elements of imperfect vocals as well as the gravelly guitars, but most of the songs have a catchy chorus that is bound to delight and entertain you and get stuck in your head for hours on end, which you don’t mind at all. Take second up track and single “Actual Alien,” as the first case of this infectious sound. All of the components of this song come at you all at once, but after a moment of disorientation, you’re able to really appreciate how they all come together. There are the rocking drum beats that carry the whole thing mixed with the buzzsaw guitars and feedback to make for a straight jam. Just when you think that this song can’t get any better, the vocals kick in and make it to the chorus, where the distorted voice screams out “I just wanna be a part of your world” and you’re completely hooked. I could talk about this song for days.
If you listen to the lyrics on Pure American Gum, you’ll notice there’s quite a bit of a range of subject matter and solemnity. There are tracks like “I Like American Culture,” which does a lot of listing of band names and describes people listening to things/liking american things. On the other hand, there are numbers that delve a bit deeper like “Social Anxiety,” which remind you that this album goes beyond vapid subject matter. The variety works great for the band as well as the genre of noise rock; both the music and the lyrics go back and forth between playful and serious, noisy and catchy. “I Wanna Be Your Animal,” is a song that shows both sides of this band, bringing some quaint female vocals in the beginning and then slowly builds to its grand finish expressing simple desire with streaming synths and rambunctious drums.
This album is brief, yet the perfect allotment of time for this blend of songs; they don’t overburden you with their gritty punk music, but rather lay down their jams and then step back so you can fully take in what they’ve made on Pure American Gum. The length of this record enhances the music on here, but in a subtle way that you don’t even think about. You just simply go back to the beginning and start it again, volume up full blast.
No, this is not some rhetoric on the culture of America, but rather a post about a band I just recently discovered, American Culture. The group is set to release their debut LP, Pure American Gum, via the label on January 11th, and the sound I’m hearing from the group has me more than amped. You’ll hear a certain pop sensibility lurking beneath distorted guitars and vocals, creating a nostalgic feeling that’s just left of the dial. You may not have heard of the group as of yet, but thanks to Jigsaw Records, it’ll be one of your favorites this January.
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