underrated; should be on spotify
California is the third studio album by American indie rock band American Music Club. It was released on November 10, 1988 on Frontier Records. The album was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. In the album's article in the book, reviewer Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen, from Iceland's daily newspaper Morgunblaðið, describes the album as the band's "definitive statement."
underrated; should be on spotify
You can find this album on YouTube, but I don’t recommend you waste your time.
This album was not on available on spotify.
Never heard of American Music Club before, and that seems to be a mistake. California is a great showcase of songwriting and blending of americana, indie and post-punk with a great highlight in 'Pale and Skinny Girl'.
This came completely out of nowhere. Never even came close to hear about American Music Club. Beautiful, varied and never hiding even an ounce of emotion. This is not the last time, I have visited their discography.
3.2 - Most of us have had that one co-worker who's always inviting the office to see his band perform. He's a nice guy and does good work. So, finally, a group of you decide some Wednesday evening to go see him perform. The gig's fairly close to the office and it's on the early side so it's not such a huge commitment. Plus, what else are you going to do on a Wednesday night? After the show, you offer him hearty pats on the back. "Good work, man! Didn't know we had a rockstar in our midst," you quip as you wave goodbye.
Not worth enduring the YouTube ads for.
Feels extremely dated, like a band trying to play Toad The Wet Sprocket. I'd read a review suggesting this was like slowcore. It is not, and it it's Not for me.
Couldnt listen on spotify found on you tube and fell off my chair... 30 minutes later when i came round youtube was playing a video about replacing a broken motor on a washing machine. Why? My washing machine was fine, washing better than ever, in that moment there with the warm dribble working its way down my chin i realised i was still on the floor. Moments later upright, alert I made my self a nice cup of tea and relaxed.
Harddd pass on this one. Another one of the "why is this album on the list" albums. Not sure what is redeemable about it. I guess it sounds sincere, but it doesnt sound good. I cant sing, and neither can the vocalist of the band.
AMC bring back so many memories. Western Sky is a perfect song. I don’t hear too many references to them any more, so I’m glad they’re represented here.
"California" is the third studio album by San Francisco indie rock band American Music Club. This music is an early example of Americana and alt country combining rock, punk, folk and country. All songs were written by vocalist and guitarist Mark Eitzel. The album opens with "Firefly." Slide guitar. Easy rock and you definitely get that alt country vibe you'd hear a few years later. He's losing a girl as she slips through. "Somewhere" is more rockin.' A great vocal chorus and a searing guitar solo to end the song. Eitzel delivers more sad, lonely songs in "Blue and Grey Shirt" and "Western Sky." More slide and acoustic guitars with the music creating a yearning atmosphere. They change it up a bit and go pyschedelic in "Highway 5." At this point, they needed to open it up and they did with some hard feedback guitar closing the final minute. I knew some Neil Young would show up at some point. This is a really good album. A lot of songs build slowly. It reminded me a lot of the Red House Painters and Silver Jews in that respect with the slowcore approach to songs. Very earnest, heartfelt lyrics and music. Maybe, they were a few years ahead of the Americana curve. But, who knows if this would have ever gained a widespread audience. Anyway, an album most everyone, I think, would like to some extent.
Their alt-rock is more obvious and less valuable than the song architecture that stretches, emerging from words unstately laconic. So the songs get big and slow. American Music Club marks a thin and gritty lane for the record, which falls apart in the middle to be reconstituted. Home state advantage does work in the retrospective.
Couldn’t find this on streaming but it was easily available on YouTube If you’re looking for great songwriting, this album is a great example of it The slow and dense instrumentation also adds to the depressive atmosphere Favourite tracks: Laughingstock, Lonely, Pale and Skinny Girl, Western Sky, Highway 5
Pretty solid americana adjacent music. Weird mix of 80s style vocals and more countrified vocals. Like this alot. Reminds me of Counting Crows.
Quite liked this one
Probably my fav of theirs.
This album sounds like a lot of other things (Elliot Smith comes to mind at certain points on the album because of the lead vocalist's voice), but it certainly doesn't sound like it came out in 1988. I would have put it at least 5 years later than that. I liked the album, but didn't love it, but it deserves a lot of credit for doing the folky alt-country thing much earlier than a lot of the other bands that ended up sounding like them in the decade after this 4/5
Anachronistically evocative, this sure as sugar doesn’t sound like 1988. Slow/sadcore pioneers, eh? Maybe that’s why this sounds like the logical stepping stone between Husker Dū and Elliott Smith. Some of these tracks gave me goosebumps. That’s good, right? How have I never heard of them??
It was difficult to hear all of it as it's not on any streaming services, which is a shame because this is one of those rare finds that I think I would like a lot. I might download it and listen properly.
Spotify does not have this album, I hate that. Had to listen on Youtube which cut up the flow with stupid ads every so often. Despite that, I quite liked this album! It felt like a perfect blend of indie/alternative with little splashes of country and blues throughout. It did not feel like an album from 1988, that's for damn sure. This could have very well been released in 2010 or 2014 instead and it would have fit right in. They were either lightyears ahead of their time or genuine time travellers who decided to go back to the 80's to enjoy life again at a simpler time and just chill, making music. And if that's the case, please SHARE YOUR BACK TO THE 80'S TIME MACHINE WITH ME!!! I wanna go too.
Un clàssic perdut entre les obres de culte del rock alternatiu nordamericà. Va ser publicat al 1988, però no pot sonar menys associat al seu contexte. De fet, sona totalment atemporal, una petita joia a conservar fruit del geni de Mark Eitzel, probablement en un moment personal força obscur, però a la vegada en el seu moment artístic més brillant
This one is really special, I can feel that It's bot on spotify sadly, but it is at least a strong 4
Full thing wasn't on Spotify, managed to find 4-5 songs on YouTube. Sounded pretty good, nice cruisy vibe. Vaguely Mark Lanegan sounding. 3/5 bc I couldn't hear the whole thing.
average length. average album 2.5
The most average album I’ve heard here. The only song I actually disliked was Bad Liquor. The first and last song I’d say are the best. Xtra half star for not being terrible.
A pretty diverse indie offering that was nice to listen to while it was on but was ultimately quite forgettable
Modt of the album was extremely nothing, even starting to get annoying and bad near the 75% mark, but the last four songs were all really nice and bleak yet beautiful. Nothing crazy good, but earns a three for its troubles.
This album was hard to find. I was able to stream it on Bandcamp. So, not off to a great start, but hey, streaming this album is technically free, which is nice. To be honest, this album wasn't all that bad. I'm not a huge country music fan, and this is not country at all, but the steel pedal guitar added an extra layer of complexity. Was neat to hear that instrument in a non-country atmosphere. Other than that, the album wasn't all that original and at points I was a little bored, but there are WAY worse albums in this book than this. Lyrics are actually very very good, but the average music, combined with a good, but forgettable voice, leads to an album that is lost to obscurity. Probably forgotten to time if not included in this list. Fun fact, the lead singer was at some point in a band called "Toiling Midgets", so at least he has that going for him. 2.5, but rounding up to 3 because of quality, poetic lyrics.
It's not on Spotify so i''m not gonna listen to it. It's probably a 3 tho
Never heard of these guys. A pretty okay slice of 80s indie, some nice vocals, pretty sounds. If you'd told me they were a MOR Aussie act from the time, I'd have believed you (excepting the band and album names)
Another 1001 I'd never heard of and probably wouldn't have otherwise.
A nice enough listen on a Sunday morning after Psychfest but I wasn't that upset it's not on Spotify because I probably won't listen again. Nothing stood out particularly, maybe the grey and blue shirt.
It was okay. With the first few songs I thought it would be another same country album. But it wasn't. It's chill.
I really liked the songwriting, but only a couple of the songs really grabbed me. Best track: Firefly
Massa mas nada pra ligar pra mae contar. Tive que ouvir no YT porque provavelmente eles tem birra com Spotify
I'd never heard of this band before. Amateur-esque roots rock only available on YouTube via user-submitted playlists. I don't mind a bit of roots/Americana style but this album was just kind of meh. I did like "Bad Liquor" which was a clear departure from the rest of the album.
Pretty good stuff maynard. 3 stars.
Je ne pouvais pas rêver pire pour mon retour de vacances
Robert nous offre un festival de chialeurs en ce moment, il va très certainement mal mais tant pis pour lui.
Laid back indierock.
не всё поняла (особенно слушая с ютуба), но вроде норм
Some guy told me to not bother listening to it.
Tears for fears gone country? For track one at least. Very interesting, not sure how i feel.
I guess the lyrics on this are supposed to be good? How come the only person with anything to say about this album is an Icelandic dude? 5/10
5/10. If this list doesn't have enough Neil Young for you, don't worry, this is basically the same thing with a different singer.
Ni una sola de las canciones disponible en Spotify
Ok but unremarkable alt country rock. Tried many times to get into it but it just slips away like sand in the desert…
pretty! minus one star for being hard to get on spotify so... 3?
A lovely indie record. Sounds like lots of other things. A little bit country, a little bit folky, a little bit The Smiths, a little bit The National. Really nice. Rating: 3.5/5 Playlist track: Western Sky Date listened: 21/10/23
C'est assez Atmosphérique. J'ai des vibes the rock alternatif. 3.5
This is not bad and representative of a particular movement. Dimery must have had an off day. It’s not the best Americana but far from the worst. It’s just sort of there. I’d rather listen to Steve Earle or Lyle Lovatt or even Fleet foxes. But in a pinch this is ok. 2.5 rounded up.
Not available on Spotify, so rated on expectation only.
I’m to understand this is a master stroke in indie rock but for me it’s simply another piece of the genre. There are some good songs here but nothing truly blew me away. It’s good indie rock just not revolutionary.
There are 1000 bands that sound just like this
Ok, wasn't on Canadian Spotify so had to youtibe
Perfectly serviceable countrified alt-rock with occasional glimmers of psychedelia, yacht, what have you. Not sure it stands out particularly.
It's pretty good. There's nothing I can point out not to like about it, but for some reason it didn't connect with me that much. Something about his voice - it just kind of drifts past me without making much of an impact. I could see growing to like this, maybe just need to listen some more, but for now it's 3 stars.
I'm a little uncertain whether or not I heard the whole album on YouTube, but what I heard was melodic and pretty characteristic of a classic Indie album. Small production, not a lot of frills. Lyric heavy and harmonious.
Да неплохо. Не потрясает воображение, некоторые песни даже чуть раздражают, но в остальном слушать было приятно. Спокойно.
Pleasant Americana - but not much more than that for me.
3/5 I liked the range of the different styles.
Just some dudes in a band singing some songs.
I listened once and decided I wouldn’t listen again, however, I relented and did give it another go and is was better than I thought, 3*
Vond dit zeer verrassend en aangenaam. Kudos.
Variety in albums can be good, but the variety in this album doesn't sit right with me. The genres they try to tackle, they aren't very exceptional in.
So very dull and terrible lyrics... Only gets an extra star as it's nice enough as background music
Moody and melancholic at times. It wasn't 'bad' but I didn't love it either. 2.5
Don’t know who they’re pulling one over by not having their music available. Listening to this was not that great. It’s like having that weird uncle be in a band from the 80s. The folky songs were rather sad and depressing. It wasn’t upbeat enough to be classic rock. It was in limbo of both and wasn’t that great. 4.8/10
I'm on a streak of average albums on this list. This is another one, rather anonymous country rock band, that brings essentially nothing to the table. Its hard to point in any direction with praise, it's mostly just generic music probably created by Chat GPT, after feeding in the name of the band. Waste of time.
A bland review for a bland album
Arnar Eggert sagði í Mogganum að þetta væri "[the bands'] "definitive statement". Og svo var vitnað í hann í þessari bók sem við fylgjum. Gott og vel, en ég þarf ekki að hlusta aftur. Lítið spennandi rödd, og ekkert lag sem grípur við fyrstu hlustun.
Not on Spotify, but found it on YouTube. Thought it was going to be a folk album then it changed into more of a post rock shoegazy dreary rock album. Shite tbh
Not really into slowcore
This is an interesting album I don't quite know what to think of it. It's like indie/country/folk mix. Not really a big fan of the singer. Bad Liquor does not fit on this album at all I thought it was put in the Youtube playlist on accident. This album didn't do anything for me I was happy when it ended.
Some folky/country music to start us off which I can totally get behind. Is the last 2 minutes of Laughingstock just silence? Lonely wasn't great songwriting. I feel like I am constantly changing the volume on the songs so I can hear. I am listening on YouTube though so maybe that has something to do with it. Blue and grey shirt was pleasant, but very much a white bread song. Bad Liquor is sporadic and loud all of the sudden? Doesn't really fit in. Overall not terrible music, but it really just seemed so lackluster and felt like they just wanted to appeal to 80% of white Americans. I don't think I would enjoy having a beer with these guys. I want to give this a 1 star so badly, but it is objectively better than the 1-stars I have given out. Soft 1.5
This singer must be really nice. He sounds really nice. I expect he doesn't forget birthdays and he's the kind of guy who pops around when you've been ill or if you're low. I don't know why else he would be on this list as the album doesn't stand out at all.
Not worth the effort to listen on YouTube. Blah.
One of the most forgettable albums I've listened to on this entire list. But I didn't actively hate it, so a 2 it is
Boring, nothing special or memorable.
A boring album that I had to sit through on YouTube. Very slow and everything sounded the same. Nothing else to really say.
All new to me -- band, album, their music -- so as always I'm grateful for this project and the way it's constantly serving up music I'd almost certainly never encounter otherwise. This album is fine, nothing in it that I dislike, but through no fault of its own it's hampered a bit by the abundance of music that sounds a lot like it. That being said, the compositions and performances are quite good, and I like the style and sound of this album.
This is like a pale carbon copy of the alternative music of the 80s; a bit alt-country, a bit Smiths, a bit RM, but not a patch on any of it. I found this bland and unmemorable. A SputnikMusic review states: "AMC slowly faded into relative obscurity and are now looked back at as a cult act, well-regarded also-rans. Clearly there was a limit to how much navel-gazing the public at large could take but it should still be remembered that AMC played their part in winning the war against ‘80s douche-bag decadence." Let's give a minute's silence for this fallen soldier in the battle against mainstream rock. They didn't achieve anything heroic, but they were there.
I had never heard this band before. Maybe I should have given it more than one listen here. It’s like there’s a stack of potential here but it’s unrealised. Maybe they were a really good band but I’m not quite hearing it. I really liked Lonely & Western Sky but I thought a lot of it was ragged. Sometimes amateurish. Sometimes boring.
Saved from obscurity by this list it seems. No, Do Not adjust your set. The whining... this is not Danny Elfmans "Mars Attacks!" defence sequence, (where country music like "Indian Love Call", performed by Slim Whitman makes the Martians heads expode.) A hard album to stream. Its not on YT Music or Spotify, except as bootleg playlist. Coincept album stuff. mixing Pink Floyd late 80's atmospherics, with early Springsteen fireside intimacy, and some Counting Crows pleading and crooning. Feels like its posing too much while hoping its delighting... there's potential here, but its not greatness due to the wierd production and pacing. Maybe one for listing alone in the garage while rebulding a classic car with your favourite doobie? Its just overdone for me....
I guess it was fiiiiine but nothing more, just american man guitar music.
I very strongly did not like this album. Weak wishy washy overall a massive MEH. It left no last impression other than disappointment
This indie folk album was rather bland. I wasn't able to detect anything terribly groundbreaking about it and also wasn't able to find anything terribly offensive either. It just washed over me and left me with no strong feelings either way. The whole thing just feels a bit safe.
This was just really boring.
Surprisingly offensive for something so inoffensive sounding. Couldn’t wait to skip tracks, except Jenny and Bad Liquor.