How many albums do you own that are from bands that you don’t know a single thing about? I am guessing that it is not that common, but it is incredibly freeing to blindly or almost blindly buy an album.
I cannot tell you how I heard about this band because I honestly do not remember. I am not sure if I saw them on a blog or a tweet or what. What I do know is that I remember the name of this album, Live at Terminal West, sticking out in my mind. Terminal West is on my short list of best venues in Atlanta, so when I noticed that this album was recorded there I knew that I needed to order it. Listening to about 30 seconds of an American Aquarium song on YouTube sealed the deal.
If you had read any of my blog posts you know that I have an affinity for real country music. Live at Terminal West scratches that itch for me. This is a red dirt Texas country music record, but it has a little bit of a twist.
First, I want to tell you about Terminal West. It is a small venue located not too far from Midtown Atlanta that hosts some of the best shows in town. There is an energy in that room that is hard to describe, but it is very conducive to a phenomenal show. The only issue I can even muster is that sometimes the clientele gets a little too hipster, bearded, and douchey for my taste. However, that is just part of being a fan of this style of music.
I say all of that to tell you that the energy from the room translates on to the wax. There is a comfortable feeling from American Aquarium on this record where you can tell how much they are enjoying themselves on stage.
It sounds like a punk band is singing country music. Go with me here: the vocals on Live at Terminal West are similar in sound and style to Tim Armstrong from Rancid, or Mike Ness from Social D, or Ken Casey from Dropkick Murphys. So, imagine that punk rock rasp and voice quality backed by an electric guitar driven country sound. It is unique and like nothing I have ever heard before. None of this is a bad thing; in fact, it works quite well. Live at Terminal West has made me an immediate fan of American Aquarium.
My favorite track: Southern Sadness