American Music Club – The Golden Age

amc-golden-age.jpgAmerican Music ClubThe Golden Age (Merge)

Now consisting only of two original members, Mark Eitzel and guitarist Vudi, the second album into American Music Club‘s reformation finds them revisiting the more introspective moments of their past and they admirably succeed on The Golden Age.

This is an important rediscovery, particularly considering that I had pretty much written off Eitzel thanks to some fairly unremarkable solo efforts and that ambivalence carried over into 2004’s proper A.M.C. reunion, Love Songs For Patriots.

I almost let The Golden Age go too and, to be honest, my first spin of it was marred with too many distractions for it to fully take hold. So be careful: it’s subtle enough to discount and the allure is within that understatement. Eitzel and Vudi fall in together like a pair of well-worn jeans, and the moment you notice how agreeable their arrangement is the moment you begin to appreciate that they’re still making music together. It just may take a few spins to come to that conclusion.

This does point to idea that it is this duo, Eitzel and Vudi, who are entitled to the A.M.C. moniker. They may have come to the realization that neither one may be able to achieve their best without the aid of the other and that moment of resignation may be The Golden Age‘s laid-back core.

It’s then up to Eitzel to step up on the notion that he’s one of America’s premier songwriters and that designation is only really apparent when he maintains that down-and-out, barfly gutter-poet. Thankfully, he sticks to that formula here rather than overreaching on topics beyond the range of his weary baritone. The Golden Age is littered with dismal character studies of booze, broads and bullshitters.

Someone once called American Music Club this country’s answer to Joy Division. Thankfully, Eitzel’s too busy down at the bar taking notes to stay at home and watch Werner Herzog films. Just make sure you’re not too engaged to overlook how good it is to have A.M.C. back and firing on their two remaining cylinders.

MP3: American Music Club – “All the Lost Souls Welcome You to San Francisco”

Tour dates:

04.02.2008 San Francisco CA The Independent

04.03.2008 Sacramento CA Harlow’s

04.04.2008 Portland OR Doug Fir Lounge

04.05.2008 Seattle WA Triple Door

04.06.2008 Vancouver BC Canada Richards On Richard

04.09.2008 Fargo ND The Aquarium

04.10.2008 St. Paul MN Turf Club

04.11.2008 Madison WI High Noon Saloon

04.12.2008 Chicago IL Schubas Tavern

04.13.2008 Pontiac MI The Pike Room

04.14.2008 Columbus OH Cafe Bourbon Street

04.16.2008 Buffalo NY Mohawk Place

04.17.2008 Toronto ON Canada Lee’s Palace

04.18.2008 Montreal QC Canada le Divan Orange

04.21.2008 Portland ME Space Gallery

04.22.2008 Allston MA Harper’s Ferry

04.22.2008 Allston MA Harper’s Ferry

04.23.2008 Northampton MA Iron Horse Music Hall

04.24.2008 New Haven CT Cafe Nine

04.25.2008 Philadelphia PA Johnny Brenda’s

04.26.2008 Brooklyn NY Williamsburg Music Hall

04.27.2008 New York NY Mercury Lounge

04.29.2008 Arlington VA IOTA Cafe

04.30.2008 Carrboro NC The Arts Center

05.01.2008 Atlanta GA E.A.R.L.

05.02.2008 Nashville TN The End

05.03.2008 Memphis TN Hi Tone

05.04.2008 Springfield MO Randy Bacon Gallery

05.05.2008 Kansas City MO Record Bar

05.06.2008 Des Moines IA Vaudeville Mews

05.07.2008 Omaha NE The Waiting Room

05.09.2008 Denver CO The Larimer Lounge

05.10.2008 Salt Lake City UT The Urban Lounge

05.12.2008 Phoenix AZ The Rhythm Room

05.13.2008 Tucson AZ PLUSH

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