By Thiago Rabuske Da Silva

August 1, 2017


The first thing to be pointed out: It’s impossible to understand why the hell people can’t seem to understand that it’s possible to shake their hips and think at the same time! That’s the first thing that comes to my mind when I listen to bands like American Lesion on this extraordinary album called “Not In Public”.

When I first ran into this band, recommended by my good friend Stephen Brock, I thought it was all about good old punk rock (literally judging a book - in this case, an album - by its cover.) The band’s, and the album’s name were all about a fine criticism and sarcasm. Which led me to that thought - but I was wrong, and, despite the fact that I love punk rock, it turned out to be a good thing!

American Lesion brings up such a tide of coolness straight to our ears in so many ways it’s a little difficult not to smile every time we listen to this incredible record. The formation changed at the beginning of the recording sessions, but it didn’t have a negative effect on the final result. The whole record sounds like all pieces are put together in the right place to make it a very solid independent rock gem.

When it comes to the songs themselves it is impossible not to notice this band is rock'n'roll based and it sounds unique - it’s like Sonic Youth, The Stooges and Stone Temple Pilots from the album “Tiny Music…” met and they decided that they would mix the same amount of dirty rock'n'roll and groove in one piece! It’s got a certain coolness all around, but it’s serious shit!

“Handsome Woman” opens the album very politically incorrectly speaking - and that’s what we all need right now in this world that’s so full of shit when it’s about coherence! Very amusing guitars and cool vocals wrap up this gem which turns out to be one the strongest songs from the album. Right after they come up with “Jehovah’s Witness Protection” - my favorite song in the whole record. Very solid harmonies and gorgeous vocals make this song unbelievably unforgettable and freakin’ fresh - the structure was very well built, and it explodes in such a rock'n'roll kind of energy that the independent scene is not really used to take!

“Terrible Person” and “Ladykiller” keep up with the two first songs, and punk rock appears very beautifully on the second one, making bed for the real punk manifesto “A.C.A.B. (all cops are bastards)”, keeping the political incorrectness up and making us dance all around the room - be careful when listening to this at home, you might break some stuff! “Loose ends” bring the groove back and prepares the soil for “Mary”, a really cool ballad that makes you get back to the early 90’s in the very best way you can figure - it’s definitely my second favorite in the whole album!

“This is not a pop song” brings the roughness back, sounding very solid and making your arms play air drums like a freak! “Run Chapo run” brings up a very rough and dirty sort of riffs and vocals which makes it impossible not to play again before getting to “Coffee and Cigarettes”, which gets back to the punk rock aura again, and the spoken vocals here make it so original and unpaired you think it’s the last song from this great album - it would already sound perfect like this! But then “Hemorrhage” starts in the best way no one would figure - acoustic guitars and keyboards make the whole difference here! “Curtain call” puts an end to this album with a lot of energy, making it impossible not to look forward to their next piece of work.

Summing all up, no one here wants to do anything else but real music - all instrumentals are simple and efficient and sound really strong and true, and the excellent vocals are the best in this excellent record.

P.S.: A curious fact about the record itself (and the band’s “modus operandi” as well): Jonathan Williams, lead singer, and songwriter, when asked about the lyrics, told he hadn’t written them down yet, he only had them on his mind, knew them by heart - HOW COOL IS THAT?!?!?!