The Austin Chronicle

SXSW 2012 Records

Reviewed by Michael Bertin, March 16, 2012, Music

Blitzen Trapper

American Goldwing (Sub Pop)

"I left my home and all my money." So sings Eric Early on the title track of Blitzen Trapper's American Goldwing. While that might not pertain in a literal sense – Early still lives in Portland, Ore. – metaphorically it's a bull's-eye. Well, maybe not the money part, but the band has stepped out of place and time. Much of its sixth LP pays homage to Seventies AOR radio. Moreover, the group's Portlandian wilderness Americana has gone South. About half of American Goldwing owes more to Faulkner than Jack London. So much so that "Crying Eyes" could double as a Blackfoot cover. And the borrowed Geddy Lee shriek of "Street Fighting Sun" can't disguise the swamp rocking underneath. That leaves you anachronistically un-square with the notion that Blitzen Trapper is becoming what Wilco would've been had they not started taking cues from Thom Yorke. But, that shortchanges Early. He's more than a Tweedy clone. He's a time traveler. (Fri., 4pm, Radio Day Stage, Austin Convention Center; 1am, Red 7 Patio)


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