I guess I should have known by the wax seal on the cover and
the black "raven's" feather inside the packet - and
possibly the likeness of the crow with the hatchet on the cover
- that American Catastrophe was playing the gothic game.
And while the band obviously draws from the darker side of things,
they're very talented and create music that is easy to listen
to, whether you lean towards the goth or not. The six songs on
Excerpts From The Broken Bone Choir have a very Swans-ish
flavor, both vocally and musically, but rather than the decidedly
evil post punk flavor of M. Gira's music, American Catastrophe
approaches their songs with a dark Americana tint. At certain
times songs remind the ear of a slower Nick Cave ("The
Well") or a less whiskey-haunted Tom Waits. Tracks
like "Hang 'Em High" take a border sound and draw it
out into a slower dirge, capturing the essence of glorious goth-rock
bands like Fields Of The Nephilim, minus the blistering
guitar lines and speeding drums. "Wither" begins with
Bauhaus-ian chimes and lower vocals before building into
a lightly orchestrated Human Drama-esque track.
So, if you like the darker music with an Americana twist, check
out American Catastrophe. If you like what you hear here, then
check out Angels Of Light, Nick Cave, Human Drama, etc,
etc. for more of this glorious gothic-tinged folk music. It's
all the good of meaningful music with a haunted cast
for those sleepy fall days.
1. The Well
2. The Farm
3. Broken Bone Choir
4. Hang 'Em High
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