Review: American Enthusiasm- Holy Wow (Specialist Subject)

Posted: February 3, 2017 in Reviews

Hey, look, it’s a brand new punk band! From Falmouth. And hey, this is their first release, but they already sound super fucking good!! Like, if I didn’t know otherwise, I would have assumed Holy Wow to be a hidden gem from 90s alternative.  American Enthusiasm’s sound is already so tight and slick, it’s difficult to believe that this is a new band. They essentially play lo-fi rough-around-the-edges, indie-punk with vocals that growl at you. It has elements of say Dinosaur Jr, Mudhoney or Pavement, while not particularly sounding like any of them. There is some fantastic melodic indie fuzz to this record, which subtly draws you in over a number of listens. The one band that American Enthusiasm did remind me of was Tenement, as this record is all over the place. I mean that as a compliment. It leaps from the guttural wails on the grunge-y opener “Holy Wow” to the mid-tempo, ear-worm-y sing-a-long “Lazy” to the slowed-down, blues-y melancholy of “Trash”. There is great variety on Holy Wow, but each song is in that same, fuzzed-out, crunchy tone. The primal, gravelly vocals also help to capture the emotional resonance of the lyrics (listen to closer “Vote” for the best example of this). While recalling Tenement’s raw, melodic punk at times, American Enthusiasm also manage to avoid the indulgency of their longer, more experimental songs, ensuring the immediacy of keeping everything at 3 minutes or less. To sum up: one of the best new punk bands to come out of the UK in a good while!

Check it out here: https://specialistsubject.bandcamp.com/album/holy-wow

 

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