Wednesday, February 27, 2008

American Gun - The Means and the Machine

As many of you know I also write for Twangville. Todd Mathis is a fellow Twangville contributor and front man of the up and coming alt-country band American Gun, along with friend and fellow songwriter Donald Merckle. They recently released The Means and the Machine and it is an album with hooks that will grab you right away. However, for those that demands instant credibility, American Gun Delivers it. The album was mixed by Chris Stamey, (The DBs, Whiskeytown, Caitlin Cary, Alejandro Escovedo, Yo La Tengo, Tift Merritt)and Al Perkins (Flying Burrito Brothers)provides pedal steel. The album is full of great hooks and melody. As compared to their previous release Dark Southern Hearts, the new effort shares stylistic similarities; but it is a bit more fine tuned with harmony vocals, keyboards and of course Al Perkins on Pedal Steel. According to Todd these refinements were largely the suggestion of Stamey.

The songs on the album are a fun listen. On the song "Drunk Girls" they describe how the social division of every bar in America is determined by different types of drunk girls and where they stand. It is a true and hilarious observation of the co-ed sport of drinking. They, also show us their theological side on the song "Jesus Gave Us Rock and Roll." This is a song to which all the people can say Amen. "Girl Done Gone" is a dark tale that would make Patterson Hood proud. Hooking up with Stamey was a really great idea for American Gun. He expands their sound and they will likely expand their audience.

Sample songs on their website.

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