It’s been a long time since I first saw Chris Adolf perform solo as Bad Weather California with a guitar and a glockenspiel at Breakdown Book Collective on Ogden Street circa 2007 or ‘08. You know what’s in that space now? A goddamn Pilates studio. Things change, huh? Even I’m getting older. ME. Luckily, what’s filled the void that was once BWC isn’t quite so useless — yes, Adolf retired the brand after a solid run that included several years of patronage to Denver’s insatiable DIY scene, many line-up changes, a tour with the Meat Puppets, and a record out on Akron/Family’s Family Tree label. Culminating last year with the excellent, addictive Back Seats cassette on Fire Talk, Adolf finally ditched the name in favor of this new American Culture nomenclature, which finds his best band to date (a quartet that appeared on the aforementioned tape) carrying over into a slough of new material that adopts something resembling a more mature, wiser take on power pop. Don’t tell him I said that, though… Makes it sound like he’s getting older. But even with songs rife with girls and Coca-Cola® and listening to the Pixies while driving in your car, the lead track on this Pure American Gum collection (a full-length release due out this May) contains within it the kind of advice you might get from your big brother, stuff you want to immediately take to heart, mainly because Adolf’s sentiments are just so heartfelt to begin with. A democracy of pop is here, something with experience, looking down on hipster scrutiny and the mythos of pop culture to get at what makes this honest sort of music so great to begin with… the fact that it can, and should be, honest music; that a tune can make your toe tap no matter what kind of shoes you have on (if the rhythm is right — and it is).
• American Culture: http://american-culture.tumblr.com