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Friday, 9 September 2011

Record Review – Blitzen Trapper 'American Goldwing'

American Goldwing
Sub Pop 

The transformation of Portland, Oregon's finest Blitzen Trapper from purveyors of alternative-rock to cosmic american roots-rockers is finally complete on this, their fourth studio album for Sub Pop

From the country funkin'chug of opener 'You Might Find It Cheap' to the riffola stomp of 'Your Crying Eyes' it's clear that those on the lookout for the early ’70s spirit of cosmic americana will be well satisfied. Whilst some of the clever alt-pop twists of their previous albums have been eschewed to make way for good time vibes and twilight campfire contemplations (check out beautiful closer 'Stranger In a Strange Land' and the classic nashville-isms of 'Taking It Easy Too Long'), lead singer and principal songsmith Eric Earley shows that he's fully mastered the art of the classic American songwriters and the influence of Dylan, Tweedy & Robertson rings loud across these 13 tracks, most notably on the albums mellower moments.

However the band still show occasional flashes of their alt-rock roots (the riff heavy groove of 'Street Fighting Son' has echoes of 2007's Wild Mountain Nation album) which keep them on the right side of retro. Sure, some listeners may be left wondering if it's 1971 rather than 2011, but who really cares when it's done as well as this.
Paul Osbourne

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