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American Sixgun - "Gypsy Circus & The Southern Wind" (CD)

American Sixgun - "Gypsy Circus & The Southern Wind" CD cover image

"Gypsy Circus & The Southern Wind" track listing:

1. America Is Burning
2. When The Spirit Moves
3. The Native
4. Dirty Sweet
5. Nothing
6. Somebody Like You
7. Prophet For Profit
8. You Kill The Things You Love
9. Say A Prayer

Reviewed by on September 9, 2010

"With American Sixgun's 'Gypsy Circus & The Southern Wind vol. I & II,' you're getting two albums for the price of one. The first is a grinding, skater-friendly rocker; the second a more laid-back one with plenty of southern grooves."

With plenty of venom in the vocals and grit in the guitars, American Sixgun has fired off a hit with what they call a "double EP" in "Gypsy Circus & The Southern Wind vol. I & II." There's plenty of range shown here, with the album divided up between a grinding first half and slightly more mellow second half.

The band is featured on this year's Vans Warped Tour, and within the first few notes of "America Is Burning," you'll know why. It's a thrashy skate-punk ode to the decline of the good ol' USA, with singer/guitarist Zach Neil growling, "I love my country and I'll die to defend it, or I'll burn it to the fucking ground."

Neil and fellow guitarists Josh Bodwell and Wess Ingrahm get a little groovier on tracks like "When The Spirit Moves" and the Southern-fried boogie "Dirty Sweet." Tom Petty is cited as one of the band's influences in the press kit for the album, and you can definitely hear that influence on "Nothing," which closes the first half of the disc, and sounds — in part — quite a bit like Petty's "It's Good to be King."

Starting with "Somebody Like You," the album heads even further South, with touches of Allman Brothers-style guitar and Eagles harmonies. It's hardly country, but it's definitely got a laid-back, more melodic vibe compared to the rest of the disc.

It takes several tracks to build back up to the speed and energy of the first half of the disc, with the closer, "Say A Prayer" being the most energetic of the songs on the second half. That's not to say that "Prophet For Profit" and particularly "You Kill The Things You Love" don't have quite a bit going on in terms of great songwriting and playing.

The only bum track on the disc is "The Native," which just falls flat, despite trying to combine a punky riff with Hammond organ and slinky slide guitar. Some of that has to do with the fact that with so much going on, the vocals nearly get covered up.

With American Sixgun's "Gypsy Circus & The Southern Wind vol. I & II," you're getting two albums for the price of one. The first is a grinding, skater-friendly rocker; the second a more laid-back one with plenty of southern grooves. And you know what? They're both pretty good.

Highs: "America Is Burning," "Dirty Sweet," "Nothing," "You Kill The Things You Love" and "Say A Prayer."

Lows: "The Native" is the album's one bum track.

Bottom line: Skater-friendly rock and southern grooves go well together on this band's self-styled "double EP."

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)