| Folk-rock makes the acquaintance of death-metal in the gloomy, thudding ballads of American Music Club.
The San Francisco quintet, which performed Saturday night at the Black Cat, plays mostly quiet, slow songs
but with awkward, anguished rhythms that suggest Godflesh more than Leonard Cohen.
The band is essentially a vehicle for the existential musings and gruff, mournful voice of Mark Eitzel, a skilled
songwriter but one who seldom comes across as anything more distinctive than a jaundiced version of Bruce
Springsteen. Whether it's the sentiments or the beats, many of his songs seem merely dreary.
On the Black Cat stage, as on the band's new album, "San Francisco," such occasional upbeat songs as "Can
You Help Me?" and "Wish the World Away" were a significant tonic. As he put it at one point, Eitzel is "a
great American zombie," but the band was most engaging when he roused himself from his doleful languor
Review of show by Mark Jenkins for Washington Post December 12th 1994
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| American Music Club
December 10th 1994