Denver band American Culture describes its music as “pop music for introverts.” It’s an apt description of the sound — and we’ll get to that in a minute — but it also describes the image the band cultivates. They request no photos during live performances, and the band photos mostly have members faces blacked out. “They don’t really want the world to know who they are personally. Just the band. Just the music,” reads the bio on the band’s management site. Could it be the band name and combined with the cultivated mystic is commentary about celebrity in American culture? Who knows.
The irony, of course, is that by trying not to draw attention to the members, personally, they create greater interest in who they actually are, what they are up to. We do know that American Culture features Chris Adolf, founder of the much lauded band Bad Weather California. At the end of the day, however, the band’s point is well taken: Who cares who is playing the music? It really is all about the music. To pull this off, the music has to be killer, and it is.
On March 10, American Culture will release its first full-length album, “Pure American Gum.” The songs rest at the intersection of pop and rock music, where catchy melodies don’t sugar coat the bite of a great guitar riff and some reverb fuzz. What’s more, this album is a tribute to the 1990s, when musicians actively rejected celebrity. More than a grunge rehash, the American Culture sound is the origin of grunge, bands like Jesus and Mary Chain and The Pixies.
Below, download “Just Driving Around.” The track, which subtly recalls Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark,” is an excellent example of how American Culture can dance the line between pop and rock, in its own introverted way. The band will also perform March 15 atRhinoceropolis.