American Heritage - Through the Age of Quarrel and (Cover Artwork)

American Heritage

Through the Age of Quarrel and (2001)

Troubleman Unlimited

When you hear "instrumental rock" and "Chicago" in the same sentence, what comes to mind? Tortoise? Euphone? Well, American Heritage can be described by those two phrases, but leave your expectations at the door -- this isn't anything 30-something hipsters will probably be embracing and writing about in Time anytime soon (although they certainly should be!)

Although American Heritage share characteristics with their instrumental brethern, they decide to take a path little seen. Rather than writing slow, meandering songs, American Heritage writes songs that are fast, heavy, complex, spazzy, and repetitious. And although this is their first domestic release, they've been doing it for awhile, releasing a 12" and a CD on the British label The Rosewood Union.

This being American Heritage's third album is obvious in that it is much improved over their initial releases. The band has always had a flooring sort of presence live, but their recorded output never really hit me as hard. But on this new album, the songs are actually beginning to stick with me, and I know if I owned a guitar I'd be trying to follow their crazy guitar parts -- and failing miserably.

The magic of American Heritage is that for only three people, they manage to create one hell of a lot of noise. My Discman can't even play this CD without having a high level of distortion. If you see them live, you'd better not forget your earplugs, or you're going to be deaf the next day. "Through the age of quarrel..." has finally managed to capture American Heritage's crazy and spastic live show and put it onto a portable piece of plastic, so you can headbang anywhere from the privacy of your home, to your car, to your office. Fans of technical metal/hardcore like Dillinger Escape Plan and Drowningman should do themselves a favor and pick this record up, because even without vocals of any sort, it rocks as hard -- if not harder -- than anything those bands have put out lately.

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