American Culture: For My Animals  CD/LP/CS   (HHBTM Records)

Release date: March 19, 2021

Bio: Nothing is more American than the flawed idealism of rugged individualism, but any ruggedness you see in Denver's American Culture (the band) only comes from years of touring, living in a GMC van, lugging that bass cab down another steep DIY basement staircase. This is DIY music. But it isn't alone. It's a culture, a community. One that American Culture and so many of their peers have nurtured, town after town, basement after basement, selling one record at a time not to "fans" but to friends. Animals!

American Culture's third album 'For My Animals' was finished pre-COVID and sent to us at HHBTM Records around early March 2020. What would become 'the great isolation of 2020' was just beginning. At that time we didn't know if the world was going to have any use for records. (Or, more specifically, a record industry.) We still don't. Will there still be a world? However, the more we sat with this record through the intense summer of 2020, we decided that absolutely YES... the world needs weirdos making things in every corner, more 4 track song sketches, more xeroxed zines, more hand folded J cards, more screen printed LP jackets. Now more than ever. The industry may die, but this culture is unstoppable.

So, we decided to press it on vinyl. No touring in sight. But it's not just a product. This album was made for hearing. It can't just sit around waiting for industry standards to come back. There was something special about this album. It spoke directly with the listener, one-on-one just like the band has at so many shows. The artwork and packaging had to do the same. Handmade art objects. Each physical record is a labor of love, like the recordings themselves.

'For My Animals' isn't strict about genre. Like their favorites, The Meat Puppets, Crass, The Grateful Dead, The Feelies, this band does whatever they feel. There's bits of noise-pop, outsider lo-fi, washes of psychedelia and even hints of Jamaican dub influence here. It's definitely punk. Punk but not rock. This album seems to be set in a different era. A time when people didn't have much to do but chill at the mall. You made new friends by maybe seeing a Dead Milkmen tattoo peeking out from under a sleeve, or 'Sonic Youth' scrawled in sharpie on the rubber toe of their converse. You didn't know each other, but, also, somehow, you did. Same with this album.