Amigo the Devil Album Review

Born Against (Liars Club/Regime Music Group)

Amigo the Devil Album Review

Singer-songwriters sprout like wildflowers in Texas, but none comparable to Amigo the Devil. On sophomore full-length Born Against, Danny Kiranos puts on the masks of a series of storytellers – some introspective, some romantic, some angry, some just plain crazed. Like Ed Hamell if he'd grown up in East Austin, he presents a tense situation in "Murder at the Bingo Hall" that becomes both bizarrely groovy and darkly hilarious. The boozy march "Quiet as a Rat" drags in what sounds like a Salvation Army band to point angry fingers at God, while rollicking banjo folk tune "24K Casket" pumps irreverence into the fear of death. Not everything parses out in measured distance, however, as spaghetti Western ballad "Different Anymore," the Scott Walker-esque "Another Man's Grave," and the stark "Letter From Death Row" pack pure emotional punch. While Kiranos relies on his acoustic guitar and soaring vocal grit, he surrounds himself with a bleary combo of widescreen arrangements and homegrown sound effects that pull him back from the brink of affectation. As much Tom Waits as Roy Orbison, both Amigo the Devil and Born Against expertly navigate the twisted path between a metaphorical heart on a sleeve and real live beating one bloodying up his flannel.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Michael Toland
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
A farewell party for Jim Eno, Rock the Park with Rosie Flores, and more recommended shows

June 2, 2023

Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
King Louie, Killah Priest, and indie classical lead our recommended shows

May 26, 2023


Amigo the Devil

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle