Quasi has been around for about 16 years, mainly tearing up the Portland area with their sounds. Throughout this time they have also toured and/or recorded either individually or collectively with Sleater-Kinney, Elliott Smith, Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, Built to Spill, Bright Eyes, Heatmiser, the Go Betweens, and Pink Mountain. They are known to be a very literate indie rock back with a flare for live improv. On their latest release American Gong, Quasi make consistent rock that can be appreciated by newcomers and veterans alike.
American Gong offers a very clear lyrical elocution with a basic alignment of instruments. The minimalist instrument collection of standard indie alternative rock is a natural complement to Sam Coomes’ stories. “Bye Bye Black Bird” and “Black Dogs in Bubbles” are great examples of Coomes, Bloome and Weiss meshing together to create straight-forward alternative rock.
“Rockabilly Party” sounds exactly as the title suggests - a Southern style jam with some alt rock flare. “Now What” is fuzz heavy and delivers some quality hooks. Quasi aren’t tackling anything too complicated on this album, making American Gong simply enjoyable.
For such a long-running band, Quasi continue to offer music worth listening to and have created a solid album in American Gong; however, it’s nothing that deserves accolades. The bio and connections of Quasi and its members seems at times more complex and invigorating than the collection of tracks on American Gong. The music is effortlessly pleasing, but that’s it. Listeners should turn it up, rock out, and enjoy.
by: Bene Garcia