The American Analog Set

Promise of Love

/tiger style; 2003/




more info:

I've been watching the "Smallville" TV series for about a half a month now and i think i'm falling in love with Clark Kent's rich, bald friend Lex Luthor. Smallville is a small ville and its hero, Clark Kent, has cool superpowers. Grasp the concept? Usually small towns are filled with white trash rejects, retarded morons and rednecks, but in this small town, everybody's fit, sensible and quite attractive. Some time ago, around 1985 if my calculations are correct, green meteorites fell onto the then unsoiled Smallville. These meteorites gave to the then puny Clark Kent superpowers and massive jaws. He's a farmboy and his parents have been tenants for the Luthor family, Smallville's rich family, for ages. One fateful day, Lex Luthor loses the control of an expensive sports car on a bridge of Smallville. The car hits Clark "superboy" Kent and dives in the water. Kent, as invincible as can be, remembers the scuba diving lessons and saves Luthor from a probably fatal drowning, and ta-daaaa, there you go, best friends on earth. I would probably want to tear Lex Luthor's heart out if I met him in person -but i can't, that's the trick. He's a spoiled brat whose only family left, his dad -his mother died for some reason, fails to love him as he should. Because as irritatingly pretentious and proud Lex Luthor can be, deep down he's a good boy. Considering Clark Kent's simpleton status and the haircut of his arch rival, Lana Lang's (Lana Lang stands for Los Lane in Japanese) boyfriend, Lex Luthor seems like the only guy worth dating in Smallville. I don't know if that makes me a capitalist whore or not, and even though it probably doesn't, i don't really care. 

One of our dear friends and one of many more Iron Maiden fans, who happens to be a records store clerk, loves to stick unappropriate promotional labels on cds. At the store he works in, you may inquire about the content of the latest Mercury Rev album and find out that they're on tour with Cannibal Corpse, learn that the latest Autechre album features Dave Grohl on drums or, while wondering to what genre that new Jewel cd belongs to, realise that you really don't understand what "emo" means anymore. 

If I had a record store I would probably put a "featuring the Smallville theme song" label on the latest American Analog Set album. Hm. I don't mean that in a bad way. Even though i love Smallville's theme song, Remy Zero's "Save Me" (it's really catchy), I'd like people to listen to American Analog Set instead of, say, Remy Zero. 

Just like Death Cab for Cutie, but to a lesser extent, American Analog Set sound almost too American to my ears. The only reason why I listen to them, and it's a pretty damn good reason, is the quality of the compositions themselves. Rather than plain chords strummed on acoustic guitars most songs are constructed like those little buildings made of matches grandfathers build when they're bored and not yet conscious of the constant decay of most of their brain's functions. They're fragile but stable. The compositions and inventive arrangements make the band an American College Student's favourite: innovative but too polite to be really challenging. The album is bookended by "Continuous Hit Music", which is great according to me and boring according to my friends. It slowly evolves, layer by layer, parts joining in along the 5 minutes ride. Unfortunately Summer is gone, stupid Autumn is here -sometimes I envy equatorian countries, they don't have these stupidly depressing Autumns and euphorically romantic Springs-, the album's warm production and concise length (a few seconds under 40 minutes) made it a great Summer night companion. I said it wasn't challenging, yet AmAnSet are a bit demanding. I think it's music for patient people. It's not coldly posh or excitingly urban, the songs seem to have a little life of their own and in this respect they unfold as fast as they feel like. If you're a hip, busy person living in a mad city and if you like it, keep on listening to whatever you're listening. If you're a farmboy living in a small town, if you enjoy watching stars on a cloudless night while thinking of the glow in your crush's eyes then you may enjoy the music a bit more. Just like Clark Kent would.

-Barbara H

/sept 15th 2003/