Continuing their ear gripping trend of enlivening the world with fascinating propositions past and new, HHBTM Records, bring us For My Animals, the new album from American Culture, a band which is DIY bred, diversity fuelled, and unpredictability shod.
The Denver, Colorado outfit have a sound which is often tagged as indie/noise pop but as their new release proves it evades precise labelling as the common cold escapes a cure. Similarly inspirations and references for the band, which include the likes of Meat Puppets, the Feelies, Super Ape, and 10,000 Maniacs, cast mere suggestion on the actual character and voice of the band’s music. For My Animals is as punk as it is pop, as rapaciously indie as it is art and post punk; a record which treats the imagination, theirs and ours, like a feral playground.
Though American Culture’s third album was completed before Covid took over the world, it arrived with HHBTM Records in March 2020 as the invasion was truly taking its hold leaving the Athens, Georgia hailing label to ponder the best time for its release, if the music industry would be sustainable and whether the world had any interest in records whilst in that virulent grip. Thankfully they have realised the record could not be held back and recently uncaged its striking offering to prove no matter what we will never lose an appetite and hunger for uniqueness and its compelling distractions.
Though as we said it is impossible to pin down we kind of imagined that if you melted down the raw essences of Swell Maps, Pere Ubu and The Soft Boys the result might be the core ingredient of For My Animals and certainly album opener Silence. The track is a calmly swinging, psych rock twanged captivation over a rhythmic nagging; its infectiousness invasive and multi-coloured with the Tom Petty hue to frontman Chris Adolf’s tones another potent additive to the creative recipe
The superb track sets the tone of enterprise and adventure for the release, its following title track taking ears down a scuzzy garage rock avenue as raw and dirty as it is enticingly compelling while No Peace quickly courts ears with afro beats and melodic lures before casting its own unfiltered seduction. A sixties/seventies scent flavours it’s aberrant weave as again the band breed a temptation that defies expectations.
That prowess only escalates across the album, the voracious contorted power pop of Small Talk and the twee meets indie pop of Pedals feeding off its eagerness while Losing My Mind is a lo fi stroll the likes of The Farmers Boys and The Bluebells would have embraced a few decades back. Even so there is inescapable freshness to the American Culture sound and invention which makes them step out from any well stocked background of artists and ensures songs like the Unhappy Fly meets the blues hued I Like American Music quickly find attention.
Through the rhythmically enlivened and sonically dextrous and hazy Drug Dealer’s House and the quickly irresistible post punk captivation of 1972, the release forges another pinnacle in its landscape with Horoscopes stretching that addictive moment through its own mix of post punk shadows and rhythmic tempting with psych nurtured electronics and swarthy melody that seems to evolve in shape and character by the second without ever losing its prime nag of sound and texture.
Equally outstanding, Here She Comes is a clamorous pop tempting built on slim sonic wires yet brews an intensity and drama which burrowed deep before Dub for Eagles courted the imagination with its dub strapped saunter, the pair leaving undeniable pleasure in their wake and Natural Violence to bring the release to a senses clanging, unmilled pop conclusion which similarly had ears hooked and appetite feasting.
That success applies to For My Animals from start to finish; for sure certain moments inflamed our passions more than others but every moment it teased and taunted to only leave a want for more of the same and a happily brewing anticipation of future American Culture distinctiveness.
For My Animals is out now via HHBTM Records; available digitally and on Ltd Ed vinyl and cassette @ https://hhbtm.bandcamp.com/album/for-my-animals
Pete RingMaster 08/04/2021
Copyright RingMaster Review