CD RELEASE 3/8 - at Mayslacks – American Revival, The Hooplah, Walker Fields, The Right Here, & Jeff Rolfzen
Review By Ryan Rud
Playing good Alt-Country is not as simple as strapping on a Telecaster and plugging into a nice Fender tube amp and calling it good. It takes honesty and some roots firmly planted in that world or else you’ll come off as a disingenuous fool. With that said the five piece Minneapolis band American Revival pull off the sound rather admirably, somewhat effortlessly, and with a refreshing energy. In fact, to label them “Alt-Country” doesn’t truly encompass their more complex sound.
They open their four song E.P. “Thank Ya Kindly” with the song “95” which made me want to drink beer on a broken down old porch with only a pile of empties and summer breeze to keep me company. It’s not a lazy song but rather a song that oozes a certain laid back confidence. Lead singer Thomas Pendarvis has a nice Springsteen and an odd Eddie Vedder mix going that might sound strange but it strangely works.
The record moves into the song “Japanese Shark” which, when the song first started, I thought it was another attempt by a Minneapolis band to sound like The Replacements. That thought quickly faded as some nice blended guitar work and melodic interludes made the song its own.
“Drinkin’s left me broke again” is a line from the third song “Texas”. The story’s been told a thousand times but it’s a story so good you never mind hearing it over and over. The band showed some maturity in knowing that sometimes just a guitar and a voice is enough.
The song “Lights” finishes this E.P. on a pretty epic note. Dramatic and dynamic. While it’s not my favorite tune on the record there is some subtly excellent guitar work in this song and I’ll bet in a smelly, dirty bar this song kills.
All in all American Revival isn’t breaking any new ground here but let’s be honest, that’s hard to do. But while the sound isn’t anything new their honesty and ability to write a good song is refreshing. While the recording itself lacked a little for my tastes I could tell American Revival is at home with their sound and I could feel the energy behind them. American Revival=Good American Band.