It would be easy to lump Blitzen Trapper into alt-country along the lines of Wilco. While the similarities are there, Blitzen Trapper’s newest album American Goldwing is much more than that. The whole sound blends the alt-country aesthetic with heavy bluegrass influence and the rock vibes of ZZ Top, Icky Thump-era White Stripes, and even a raucous Led Zeppelin-style track in the awesome “Street Fighting Sun.” The lyrics draw less from the introspective Jeff Tweedy and more from the observational style of Ray Davies.
Simply put, American Goldwing manages to do two things at once. It is both a deeply thoughtful album, particularly “Love the Way You Walk Away” and “My Home Town,” as well as a boot-stomping rocker with tracks like “Might Find it Cheap” and “Street Fighting Sun” leading the way. American Goldwing is both a fun album and one that is marvelously crafted. It takes the sound brought to life by Wilco and brought to popularity by Mumford and Sons to a whole new level of consistency and brilliance without a bad track on the album.
(Sub Pop Records, 2013 Fourth Avenue, Third Floor, Seattle, WA 98121)