American Music Club - California - Cassette tape on Frontier Records

American Music Club – California – Cassette tape on Frontier Records

 

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American Music Club – California – Cassette

Song List
1. Firefly
2. Somewhere
3. Laughingstock
4. Lonely
5. Pale Skinny Girl
6. Blue And Grey Shirt
7. Bad Liquor
8. Now You’re Defeated
9. Jenny
10. Western Sky
11. Highway 5
12. Last Harbor

CALIFORNIA is one of the American Music Club’s most straightforward, roots-rock-oriented releases. It’s certainly the most country-flavored, as arid desert landscapes mix with twangy guitars and folksy acoustic strumming. The anomalous “Bad Liquor” turned out to be one of the most-requested songs in the band’s repertoire. It’s a raging, punky rocker in which singer Mark Eitzel plays the drunken fool looking for trouble or the next drink, whichever comes first. Conversely, “Jenny” is a quiet, ominous, acoustic ballad full of low-key sorrow, and there are parts of the harrowing “Laughing Stock” that are barely audible, as Eitzel’s self-esteem vaporizes before our very ears amid gently rippling guitar arpeggios.The opener, “Firefly,” is really the mood-definer for the album, and its ostensibly upbeat arrangement masks the lyrics’ bittersweet observations about the fleeting nature of happiness. “Somewhere” and “Pale and Skinny Girl” are portraits of non-beautiful losers in the classic AMC mold, the former sounding like it could be a Replacements outtake. Eitzel’s existential angst is at its most appealing on “Lonely”; over a steady-rolling folk-rock backing, he reaches new heights (depths?) of alienation with the chorus “If I have to be this lonely, I might as well be alone.”

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