Interstellar love music American Mars\' debut recording asks questions, offers no answers and wades in it's own ragged beauty, dark power and sensual confusion like a peacock strutting it's feathers in a field full of crows. This Dearborn quartet (what\'s up with Dearborn, anyway? Windy and Carl, Fez and now American Mars?) combines -- mostly unintentionally -- the best elements of artists such as the Velvets, early Gun Club, Joy Division, Mary Margaret O\'Hara, Giant Sand, Gang of Four and PJ Harvey, as well as it's own aesthetic of exploding guitars in-your-face rock and subtle, yet unmistakably original melodic and modal invention. American Mars plays rock from the underbelly of the (sub)urban night. Here slavish devotion to revealing desires, pains and truths that are normally overlooked or purposely and forcefully repressed is the MO. Thomas Trimble and Karla K Richardson, the primary singer-songwriters in this band, have distinctly different approaches. Trimble looks for mystery in the moment, using his guitar to cut a hole in the gray. Big chords and pronounced melodies give urgent voice to his desire to transcend everyday realities, go deeper into the spiritual heart of the country called rock. (\'Call it treason/a break in trust/call it the season/call it lust/behind the glasses a smiling phantom.\' -- from \'Crush\'). Richardson has desires of her own; they equate lust and longing, and loss and redemption with love and spirit. Her tunes are subtler and more expansive, developing more slowly and sensually (\'I\'d climb through your chimney/I\'d even go hunting/kill all the boars with my bare mouth/suck out all the coal/\'cause I know it\'s good for me.\' -- from \'Try It\'). The words drip from her mouth like running water. With both songwriters, though, the sexual, personal and communal come shining through driving, careening, texturally and atmospherically gorgeous rock music that is jarring and seductive. In their harmonies, their voices entwine in a mix that aches, slips and slides with a barely restrained dark power that reveals the libidinal urge to cut loose. In all, American Mars\' debut is all you could hope for in something really new. It\'s strong throughout with tough and tender songs that are catchy and memorable. This band makes rock and roll that is smart, passionate, heady and erotic; what else could you ask for from a first album? Thom Jurek, Metro Times A mix between the gothic inner city Americana of Lions & Ghosts and the sharp songwriting of the Pixies, American Mars came roaring out of the gates with a moody debut that most weren\'t sure how to react to. Creating a soundtrack to the bombed-out and boarded up buildings of downtown Detroit, American Mars perfectly captured the chilly indifference of their hometown in quite an unexpected way. Singers Thomas Trimble and Karla Richardson balance their male/female dynamic wonderfully, leaving the former to take the role of the gloomy pessimist while the latter is the delicate heart behind the music. Country guitar and an earnest lyrical approach form the foundation of these songs, but the key to this sound is the way American Mars record everything with a hollow production that allows their instruments to echo and reverberate. Deceivingly gentle with an urgent edge bubbling underneath, the songs here warmly embrace their big city origins with irascible odes like the driving \'Cuban Heel\' and the lazy and psychedelic \'Muscle Car.\' Likewise, their personal lives are dissected with the same clever honesty, providing tracks like the up-tempo \'Queen Bee\' and the gorgeous \'Hourglass.\' Fat-free, engaging, and well-crafted, Late is an atmospheric and romantic portrait of life in late-\'90s Detroit. Capturing the mood and vibe of the city far more appropriately than most bands from that era, their impending breakup (which essentially turned the band into Trimble\'s pet project) only makes this record that much more vital. At a time when their contemporaries were crafting a brash garage rock revival, American Mars\' Late is a triumph of mood.- All Music Guide \'American Mars has been a quiet anomaly on the Detroit scene since emerging three years ago, preaching a tight, narrative brand of post-No Depression rock to a city more accustomed to sloppy garage and other under-rock wonders. But with their CD, Late, the band proves it's high-minded, low-profile approach has been worth the effort. Dual vocalists Thomas Trimble and Karla Richardson cover a lot of territory, exploring the Exene Cervenka/John Doe (of X) dynamic with verve, while broadening Late\'s lexicon even more when singing on their own. Trimble adds his lower-cased songsmithing and Richard contributes her disheveled chanteuse air. Add to that Trimble and second guitarist Brad Richards\' jagged melodies and drummer Dave Lentz\'s Elvin Jones-ish punctuations, and Late becomes some Motor City cousin to The Gun Club\'s Fire of Love, dense, desperate, aching and passionate, streetlight-lit snapshots of the American night framed by the empty-epic sensibilities of Joy Division.\'--Hobey Echlin, Metro Times \'Living on the hard edge of Americana, drawing well-crafted emotional vignettes in chiaroscuro, looking at familiar things through the eyes of a stranger.\'--Karen Koski, Billboard \'The feel of the album is like you are driving down a long dirt road in the mountains, when the streetlights aren\'t on.\'--Mike Gillespie, The Michigan Journal.
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