Album review: Blitzen Trapper, American Goldwing

By Dave Pope

<inline type="video" id="12331" align="right"/> This is Portland, Oregon's Blitzen Trapper's most suprising album to date. It's loaded with more catchy vocal harmonies, more cohesion than usual. Their version of garage rock comes with the idea that the music does not have to be rough and ready. Rather, it can also be refined - on American Goldwing, Blitzen Trapper remain true to themselves, still inspired by their 70s heroes and still fusing old sounds with new and still making compelling music.

This is straightforward Americana lying somewhere between Stephen Stills and the Greatful Dead, coupled with boisterous, muscled-up roots rock. Songs like Street Fighting Sun and Your Crying Eyes offer up blistering blues mayhem and lead guitarist Erik Menteer's Nels Cline-y, slick-but-sloppy shreddage filling out any open space.

Slow burners Taking It Easy Too Long, Love the Way You Walk Away, Girl in a Coat, and Astronaut has frontman Earley shovelling peculiar metaphors into a pit of past failures and ex-lovers. The closer, Stranger in a Strange Land could pass for a John Prine song, both vocally and instrumentally.

Blitzen Trapper

American Goldwing


- The Aucklander

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