Thursday, March 24, 2011

American Gods-Chariot The Ghost LP Review

One of the dudes from this band posted on the Bridge 9 board that he was looking for people to review one of their records. Checking out their myspace, and listening to some of the tracks got me stoked on the band, so I agreed to check it out and write something about it. American Gods are one of a few new bands of this genre that have been coming out lately, along with Anne from Portland and Whirl from California. This is shoegaze pretty much exactly how I like's a bit tilted towards a melodic, melancholy indie rock sound, sort of Starflyer 59ish but retains the noisy wall of sound effects we all know and love. "El Matador" starts the record out in a sort of listless dreamy fashion with some cool guitar sounds. Next song is ""No Fault of Our Own" which gets things going a bit more. The vocals on this track do have a bit of an ethereal quality to them, but seem to be a little louder than most shoegaze bands, though still a little muted, on some of these songs I feel as if one I'm just on the cusp of understanding some the words or be able to sing along, but the vocals seem to be just out of reach. There's a really cool noise at the end of "No Fault" that sound like a space alien ripping a crackly interstellar bonghit. "Our Empire never Dies" is another standout song on here with a catchy guitar hook. At first I thought the layers of spoken word samples in the background detracted from the song a bit, upon further listening I realized the song would feel a little empty without them. The "Segue" which follows this is a classic exercise in spacy wall of sound gazing. "Soleil Noir " is the last full song on the record, and while a decent track, is my least favorite of the bunch. It doesn't distinguish itself as much as the other tracks, but I still wouldn't call it bad or a throwaway track, I just like it a little less than the rest. The record concludes with "Transmissions" an ambient noise track that kind of sounds like a spaceship flying through space. I enjoyed this release and will be looking for more from them in the future, and would definitely see them live if they came to my neck of the woods.

Edit: Somehow the song sequence got jumbled up, here's the real tracklist:

1. Transmission
2. Soleil Noir
3. Segue
4. Our Empire Never Dies
5. El Matador
6. No Fault of Our Own

Go to to order the record, and check out for more band info and live dates.

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