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The Golden Age

American Music Club

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iTunes Review

After a ten year hiatus, American Music Club reunited for 2004’s Love Songs for Patriots. By the end of 2007, only singer Mark Eitzel and guitarist Vudi were available to soldier on. Adding a new rhythm section, the duo went about making one of the quietest albums of their mostly quiet career. Initially, the group were unusual, appearing long before such slo-core advocates as Low, Red House Painters, Smog and Ida. Their snail’s paced, heavily emoted compositions may have helped inspire the ‘emo’ movement to some small degree, but this San Francisco-based group’s approach has always been more subtly nuanced and psychically ambivalent than most performers who bleed over their music. The Golden Age expresses its rage at right-wing politics (“The Victory Choir”) and memorializes tragedy (“The Windows on the World”), but is best when expressing affirmations of beauty in a world gone ugly (“Who You Are”). Unlike previous releases, Eitzel never strains for a note, but instead sings and fingerpicks quietly in the corner with Vudi adding subtle ambient textures of feedback that rarely screech but gently expand over the austere terrain.

Customer Reviews

Another great chapter for one of the best American bands

I wasn't sure what to expect when I heard that AMC had changed its lineup, as I always thought that the band had great chemistry with Danny Pearson and Tim Mooney, but the new guys ease right into place next to Mark Eitzel and Vudi. Most importantly, they don't get in the way of Eitzel's gently beautiful songwriting. This album is definitely in more of a mellower vein than previous releases, there's no real "punch in the gut" track like "Patriot's Heart" from their previous release, but what you have are Eitzel's trademark mid-tempo songs delivered with just the right amount of texture and his achingly moving lyrics. The album cover fits, as much of this music washes over the listener like a wave. For the uninitiated, "The Decibels and the Little Pills" and "All The Lost Souls" are great tracks to start out with. And if you get a chance, catch this band live.

Golden

Mercury & Everclear were their best. (Well, California too, but its crimminally out of print).This ranks up there with those. Despite some great moments, Eitzel's solo career was a bit frustrating for AMC fans, since it had an equal amount of failed experiements. Music For Patriots marked a not quite return to form which Golden Age delievers on in spades. The meloncholy, the humanity & humor---its all here. Not one bad track. Vudi & Eitzel still have their brooding simpatico despite a new rythm section. So far one of the best of 2008. Not that the masses will take notice. They never have. Amy Winehouse--gimme a break. This is the sound of what goes on underneath. Georgous & brilliant.

One of the best records of the year (so far...)

don't pay attention to the 1-star review. AMC's music isn't going to knock you over with Vampire Weekend (over-rated) hipness, but it is beautiful, stylistic music that is timeless, suitable for all ages -and fans of any of Merge's artists.

Biography

Formed: 1983 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Although chosen for its deliberately nondescript qualities, in retrospect the name American Music Club was the perfect moniker for the lauded San Francisco-based band led by singer/songwriter Mark Eitzel: over the course of nine acclaimed albums, the group tied together the disparate strands of the American musical fabric — rock, folk, country, punk, even lounge schmaltz — into a remarkably distinct...
Full Bio

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