News updates for American Culture

Stutter Steps, American Culture, Fireworks at Austin Town Hall

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American Culture at Bloodbuzzed

Today, we are extremely happy to unveil our 30 favourite songs of the year so far. As we did with the best records /EPs list, the tunes are listed in alphabetic order, taking in mind two rules: they have been released during 2015, and just one song per group (a really hard decision in some cases). We encourage you to enjoy the complete playlist in our soundcloud page! And to check our 201120122013 and 2014 selections!

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American Culture at Step On Magazine

Pure American Gum glistens with the heat and sheen of desert summer evenings. American Culture offers a sound that is an unrelenting blend of dream-pop and punk rock. Earnest lyrics about anything from Coca-Cola, Cherry Crush, and unrequited love; to social anxiety, alienation, Sonic Youth and the Pixies – American Culture offers a completely different side of Americana that won’t be found on any Bruce Springsteen record.

“My Teeth Are Sharp” opens with a melodic, fuzzy call-back guitar riff that The Cure would be immensely proud of, while tracks like “Social Anxiety” and “I Like American Culture” form the backbone of Pure American Gum. On the one hand, “Social Anxiety” is about being too paralyzed by fear to talk to a crush, while “I Like American Culture” begins with Pixie-like bass drubbing before launching straight into the chorus of “I like American Culture” sung over and over again as both a reaffirmation and reassurance, celebrating both the glitz and the grit of culture.

American Culture call themselves “PUNK PEOPLE”. Their punk attitude is paradoxically expressed in music that’s chock-full of material references, whether those be Coke or cars. Yet under all this material glamour is a feeling of anxiety, alienation and suburban boredom. American Culture’s music is at once a celebration and lamentation of material culture. The music sounds uneasy and unsatisfied with their slice of Americana. In a culture so full of material distraction, human relationship can be pushed to the backburner. Desire becomes a common theme to this collection of tracks: “I just wanna be part of your world” is sung earnestly in “Actual Alien”, while the need to be devoted to someone entirely is expressed in “I Wanna Be Your Animal”.

Adding to the sense of unease and dissatisfaction is the abruptness of the tracks on Pure American Gum. “I Wanna Be Your Animal” ends mid-verse. Modern psyches are far too distracted to do anything for any length of time, even wanting to be someone’s animal. Devotion only runs for so long as we are committed to it, and in American Culture’s universe that sure doesn’t last long.

The punk influence and abrupt length ultimately work in American Culture’s favour. It’s music for summer nights as much as it is for rocking a pair of headphones alone in your room. Pure American Gum is an adrenaline shot of familiar images and sounds cast up in a new, interesting way. It may not last long, but it’s as refreshing as that first sip of Coca-cola or Cherry Crush on a hot summer evening.

 

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American Culture at Austin Town Hall

Man, noise rock with catchy pop hooks seems to be everywhere these days, and I am far from complaining. American Culture are a Denver group making bubblegum pop with a noisey twist, and they do this quite well. Pure American Gum is a short yet tantalizing album filled with songs that will win your heart over with their fuzzy goodness.

Really, the buzzy noise rock that American Culture have made for you on this album is delightfully infectious. They bring the punk elements of imperfect vocals as well as the gravelly guitars, but most of the songs have a catchy chorus that is bound to delight and entertain you and get stuck in your head for hours on end, which you don’t mind at all. Take second up track and single “Actual Alien,” as the first case of this infectious sound. All of the components of this song come at you all at once, but after a moment of disorientation, you’re able to really appreciate how they all come together. There are the rocking drum beats that carry the whole thing mixed with the buzzsaw guitars and feedback to make for a straight jam. Just when you think that this song can’t get any better, the vocals kick in and make it to the chorus, where the distorted voice screams out “I just wanna be a part of your world” and you’re completely hooked. I could talk about this song for days.

If you listen to the lyrics on Pure American Gum, you’ll notice there’s quite a bit of a range of subject matter and solemnity. There are tracks like “I Like American Culture,” which does a lot of listing of band names and describes people listening to things/liking american things. On the other hand, there are numbers that delve a bit deeper like “Social Anxiety,” which remind you that this album goes beyond vapid subject matter. The variety works great for the band as well as the genre of noise rock; both the music and the lyrics go back and forth between playful and serious, noisy and catchy. “I Wanna Be Your Animal,” is a song that shows both sides of this band, bringing some quaint female vocals in the beginning and then slowly builds to its grand finish expressing simple desire with streaming synths and rambunctious drums.

This album is brief, yet the perfect allotment of time for this blend of songs; they don’t overburden you with their gritty punk music, but rather lay down their jams and then step back so you can fully take in what they’ve made on Pure American Gum. The length of this record enhances the music on here, but in a subtle way that you don’t even think about. You just simply go back to the beginning and start it again, volume up full blast.

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American Culture at Durango Herald

“Pure American Gum,” American Culture. American Culture is the new band led by Colorado’s Chris Adolph, rising out of the ashes of the now-defunct Bad Weather California.

This is a successful quest for power pop. Reverb and fuzz give way to the best of simple songwriting. It’s a breezy record for summer, the name and title track paying homage to classic American Culture and its music. Reminiscent of Cheap Trick songs that lyrically tap on nothing more than a good time, it reminds us of the importance of a mixed tape and slowing down enough to enjoy a simple record.

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American Culture at If It Be Your Will

Remember when Jesus And Mary Chain wanted really badly to be American during their mid-period? That’s this record. This is classic “American music”. Not so much Bo Diddley and Elvis, but more like Velvet Underground and the Stooges. These ten songs celebrate activities such as driving around, listening to music, going to the movies… but they’re also about feeling anxious and out of place and not really knowing who or what you are. The songs themselves are buried in layers of fuzz and reverb, as if they were trying to mask their true identity: that is, catchy little pop hits. Sometimes they fade away too soon, sometimes they even just stop mid-sentence, but nevertheless, the ideas are already planted, and the songs remain stuck in your head. This is American Culture.

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American Culture at The Big Takeover

Mysterious fuzz poppers from the Four Corners Desert, American Culture, offer an excellent debut full-length that perfectly encapsulates their name.

Pure American Gum explodes with pop hooks, reverbed vocals and feedback-laden guitars. Each song is a snapshot in time, a pure celebration of that naïve innocence we had in our youth that youngsters still hold today. Through dreamy Jesus and Mary Chain melodies, Lou Reed insight and Pixies noise, they deliver the soundtrack for misguided teens stuck hanging out in strip mall parking lots because there’s no place else to go and being at home is just a drag. It’s The Ramones on Quaaludes, a John Hughes movie through the haze of Valium swiped from mom’s medicine cabinet.

Remember when the parents in Poltergeist were getting high in their bedroom? They should have been listening to American Culture. Let down your guard and have a little fun like you haven’t had in so long.

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American Culture at The Vinyl District

There’s an air of mystery surrounding American Culture; one certainty is that Pure American Gum is their debut album. The band describes its ten songs as “Music for Introverts,” and this might be true, but they also characterize a life-affirming byproduct of their namesake, specifically the sound of colluding youth banging out a batch of tunes openly celebrating relationships amorous and platonic, watching flicks, hopping in the car and tooling around, and the resonance of musical favorites. It’s out this week, in a vinyl edition limited to 300 copies, on Jigsaw Records.

Upon getting clued-in that a contemporary outfit had decided to sport the moniker American Culture, my initial thoughts hurdled back to the ‘80s and the names spied on Xeroxed flyers for all-ages hardcore matinees. Indeed, a gang wielding this handle would’ve fit perfectly onto one of those bills, the phrase scrawled in smaller print nearer to the bottom and with a tidy set assuredly covering most if not all of the following topics; conformity, religion, political nefariousness, organized sports, watching too much TV, and eating too much junk food.

Thankfully the circumstances here reveal a different reality easily discernible in the record’s title. Pure American Gum offers fresh-faced exuberance if not exactly innocence (the first cut details the sketchy borrowing of someone else’s motor vehicle), and the words to “I Like American Culture” underscore the point; rather than jingoistic, they draw comparisons to the everyday enthusiasms found in the annals of power pop as well as the impassioned ground-level grandeur of the Modern Lovers’ “Roadrunner.”

Furthermore, the sprinkling of lyrical references, to Coca-Cola, soda shops, and the imbibing of cherry crushes for only a few examples, enhance a connection to a bygone era, one that gradually ramped up post-WWII and rapidly declined with the Kennedy assassination and the escalating war in Vietnam. The global appreciation of US culture was at a rare peak, and for good reason; rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, automobiles, Hollywood, American Lit and comic books/strips were cherished worldwide.

Cultural exchange resulted of course, e.g. the Nouvelle Vague and the British Invasion, and more than a simple throwback, American Culture are exemplars of this tradition, absorbing self-professed influence (and they’re nothing if not boldly referential) from the Jesus and Mary Chain and Guided by Voices, the former a Brit act unimaginable without US rock precedent and the latter a pack of wily Ohioans that reshaped The Who and The Small Faces, two UK groups heavily impacted by American rock and R&B.

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American Culture at When You Motor Away

The music of American Culture wears its American rock credentials proudly.  Think The Replacements, The Henry Clay People, Springsteen, Velvet Underground, Dinosaur Jr and Guided By Voices.  It may not be easy to articulate the American essence, but we grew up on this stuff, bought records and went to shows.  This is our rock music — the soundtrack of our lives. And while the fusion of punk, power pop, college rock and guitar pop with a love of volume and ‘we do what we want’ attitude is never going to be destined for the pop charts of 2015, it also is always going to have a place in our hearts.  The band is either shy about, or unconcerned with, telling you anything about themselves, although my crack research assistants generously took time from filling out their March Madness Brackets to advise me that the main man here is Chris Adolf who formerly performed as Bad Weather California.  Due to said interns’ indolence, as well as their not quite admirable resilience in the face of negative job reviews, no other details will be forthcoming.

Thanks to the good folks at Jigsaw Records, we all can have a piece of American Culture.  Pure American Gumdelivers ten anthems reflecting the freedom and anxiety of American youth.  The album kicks off with the ’90s rock of “My Teeth Are Sharp”, with woozy vocals and thick guitar lines.  “Actual Alien” brings a touch of shoegaze without yielding any of the fist-pumping drive.  Fans of the late The Henry Clay People, which certainly includes me, should find great joy in “Social Anxiety”.   The next song is titled “I Like American Culture”.  For my money, it is the best song on the album, and by now I expect any rock fan will agree with the sentiment in the title.  “We Wanna Go To The Movies” sounds like it should be the best Guided by Voices song of the year, and just as you are wrapping your head around that fact the band slides into the Springsteen-like romp of “Just Driving Around”.  The following “I Wanna Be Your Animal” switches the vibe to a taut film noir soundtrack.  The upbeat piano-driven “And That’s Enough For Me” becomes one of the standout tunes of the album by virtue of making you feel so damn good.  The album ends with the adrenaline rush of “About A Friend” and the delightful “I Wasn’t Going To Fuck You Over Like That”.

This album wraps up years of American rock music with its own fresh wrapper.  I love this album and can’t stop playing it.

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American Culture at Hey Reverb

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.

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