American Gas Jive
Musical Family Tree Records
Four and a half stars
Vess von Ruhtenberg claims that he wrote each of the nine tracks on American Gas Jive in the hour before band rehearsal: one track = one hour. Listening to the results, he might be accused of aggrandizement à la Kerouac’s scroll: The album is just that strong, a straight-forward, ’90s-esque alt-rock collection with effortless lyrics, clean but aggressive guitars and generous hooks that plea for repeated listens. Not to put it all on the primary songwriter: Three former members of the hardcore band Majhas — John Zeps, Tommy Roosa and Tony Reitz — make up the rest of Action Strasse, suggesting that basic rock ’n’ roll respects no genre distinctions, just well-constructed, skilfully performed songs.
Sounds like: The Lemonheads, Pixies, Husker Du