American Wolf ζ Tales of Kamanakera (2012)

American Wolf ζ Tales of Kamanakera (2012)

American Wolf

American Wolf   ζ   Tales of Kamanakera
Location: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Album release: January 31, 2012
Record Label: Unsigned
Duration:     30:20
1. brave new machine       5:27
2. el cielo es azul       4:27
3. see ya in LA, america       5:08
4. muted colors       5:17
5. respect your idols       3:33
6. tales of kamanakera       6:03
7. don't shake your head       3:36
8. house of zyer       2:19        / © Copyright - American Wolf / American Wolf (885767399778)
Band Members:
ζ  Hristo Mintchev – lead guitar
ζ  John Imburgia – bass guitar
ζ  Tim Mack – drums
ζ  Chris Banaszack – keyboards
ζ  Sal Plant – vocals and rhythm guitar    // ζ  Album artwork by Sean McInerney
ζ  Engineered by Ryan Zyer
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ζ  "Tales of Kamanakera… leaves a lasting impression with its unique vocals and superb instrumental strength."
ζ  Stella Suhayda

ζ  A lullaby for the stressed, with each listen through you’ll find a new story, a new unique sound, and another piece of the puzzle. 

ζ  By: Joel Frieders  /  Album Rating: **********
ζ  Normally when a band is fronted by a singer that never actually opens his throat you're kind of waiting for something to happen. You're constantly curious if the dude's going to fucking belt some shit out, or just stay his whisper-soft self. Yet his reserve is one of the reasons you're listening so intently to the fucking band, so you wait and you wait and you wait, and when that muthafucker gets a tid bit angsty you throw your fucking hands in the air like a Bulls fan in the 90s.
I had this exact experience with the Chicago band American Wolf.
ζ  They sound like an acoustic post rock band, but with a front man who has the quiet side of the Mars Volta down fucking pat. It's peaceful until it's fucking creepy and it's fucking creepy until it's unsettling enough to make you start the individual fucking tracks over.
ζ  Their latest album titled tales of kamanakera is a delicate and eerie plate of what the Fuck?, but all the while keeping its consistent comfort and "jesus shitting on a piece of naan, this couldn't feel more perfect".
ζ  The song Muted Colors takes the guitar and vocals and sees them mimicking each other to the point where you're wondering if you aren't being fucked with it's so damn fucking hell yea. There's this constant whisper soft guy wielding a fucking scythe, chopping down what you assumed this shit was going to sound like, and just when you think you've got the shit fingered out, it's even better than you imagined.
ζ  American Wolf are as disarming as they are fucking creepy as shit, but it's that mixture of familiar and "what the Fuck are you licking your fucking finger for dude?" that makes it what it is.
ζ  And what it is, is fucking hell fucking yes.

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American Wolf (Chicago, Illinois)

ζ  Words by Aaron Wilson   3/5
ζ  When you’ve had a hard day at work and you want nothing more than some time to relax and wind down the first thing some people turn to is music. One band in which you should definitely check out after a stressful hard day’s work is American Wolf. If you’re a fan of Brand New and Manchester Orchestra and like you’re slowed down chilled out acoustic guitar sounding music then this album is for you.
ζ  Opening track ‘House of Zyer’ is a mixture of guitar feedback to start with leading into what sounds like a group of people talking and laughing with some slow acoustic tones added on top. Blending perfectly into ‘Brave New Machine’ the song flows quite dreamlike with flourishes of acoustic guitar tones, synths and frontman Sal Plant’s whispering vocals it’s a definite stand out track on the album.
Songs like ‘See you in LA, America’ and ‘Tales of Kamanakera’ slow things down alot more on the album. With interwoven slow acoustic guitars and atmospheric keyboards in the background the songs paint a picture of a serene dream like backdrop that any listener could get lost in. The album finishes with ‘Don’t Shake Your Head’, it’s a slow mix of twin guitars and soft vocals as Sal sings “the seasons are changing once again and yet I stay the same” it finishes the album off perfectly.
ζ  I can guarantee if you listen to this album just before going to sleep you will be asleep after the third song, what American Wolf has made is a good chillout acoustic album that everyone will enjoy.

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ζ  Written by Mark Robinson
ζ  I’m supposed to conduct myself in a professional manner and all that jazz right? Well I’ll try but I’m making no promises here.
ζ  There are not enough superlatives to throw out at Tales of Kamanakera. Self-described as a mixture of Elliott Smith and Brand New (you could sell me on that alone), the combination of lush acoustic guitars, whispery vocals and trippy delayed licks all blend in to a beautiful musical canvas.
ζ  House of Zyer is a brash layer of noise that suddenly turns in to an epic little adventure wrapped inside two minutes. This gently bleeds in to Brave New Machine WHICH YOU MUST GO AND LISTEN TO NOW. STOP READING THIS AND GO AND LISTEN TO IT. A kinetic tension of a lullaby that sweeps with the aforementioned guitar licks and Sal Plant’s dreamy whispered vocals; it simply has to be on a ‘best of’ list come the end of the year.
ζ  The Elliott Smith influence is apparent on El Cielo es Azul and Muted Colors as musically it could fit right alongside the best stuff on Either/Or. But this isn’t simply a tribute band; American Wolf stamp their own identity. A lot of this is the musicianship between the band as they have the flexibility, but they also don’t self-indulge. John Imburgia also adds a wonderful layer of keyboards that simmers underneath as well. This shows up immensely on the title track. Taking the dream like vibe of the latter parts of Melon Collie before building up to an explosive crescendo, it is an epic masterpiece. Don’t Shake Your Head closes the album off with some excellent interplay between guitars and feels like a gentle warm-down after everything that’s happened.
ζ  Enough babbling, go listen.
ζ  (Fortaken:

ζ  Posted on February 10, 2012 by Shannon Brown
ζ  American Wolf’s Tales of Kamanakera is a lullaby for the stressed. The blending of vocals and instrumentation of this five piece band from Chicago will melt away the tension of the tightest Type A, while sending your mind on a journey of contemplation.
ζ  “Intellectual” comes to mind when listening to Tales of Kamanakera. If we gave American Wolf an IQ test, we would probably ask them to run for president next. Drummer Tim Mack and bassist John Imburgia do a wonderful job of providing a back bone for each song. They are neither overpowering nor overpowered. Hristo Mintchev and Chris Banaszack work in harmony on the lead guitar and keyboard as they either send you soaring into the sky or plunge you back to the earth, often in the same song. Sal Plant’s acoustic guitar guides your thoughts as his melodic voice makes a permanent home in your mind, tucked away with the other gems of beauty we collect in our lives. American Wolf forsakes the notion that songs require vocals to take the spotlight while the instruments are merely backup.
ζ  There is a commanding presence of the instruments, beckoning you to pay them mind and to recognize the individuality of each, while still appreciating how they come together as one. Of note, “Muted Colors” and “El Cielo es Azul” (The Sky is Blue), are both melancholy experiences of heartbreak that show you American Wolf is not afraid to hand you their hearts, bleeding and raw. The lyrics alone would not give you the same emotion, and again the listener is made aware that feelings come from so much more than words alone.
ζ  It would take the hardest of hearts to not feel something after listening to “Respect Your Idols”, whether that feeling is fear, resolve, disappointment or perseverance depends on the mental state of who’s listening. The MVP of the album, if one were to be named, would be “See you in LA, America.” The breakdown at the end will give you goose bumps, and the song itself is chilling and thought-provoking.
ζ  Perhaps the best part of Tales of Kamanakura is that it does not get old. With each listen through, you’ll find a new story, a new unique sound, and another piece of the puzzle. If music could put oil on canvas, American Wolf’s masterpiece would look similar to something out of the mind of Van Gogh. The third project released by American Wolf, Tales of Kamanakura is worth every step the band took to get here.
ζ  Rating – 4/5 Stars (Fortaken:

American Wolf ζ Tales of Kamanakera (2012)