An American Chinese

Monday, February 11, 2008

Clap Your Hands Say Philadelphia

Every year or two Philadelphia seems to produce another great indie rock band. Following on from Mazarin and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is An American Chinese; another band experimenting within the realms of guitar-driven pop that's cutting edge and again reinforcing Philadelphia as an indie pop mecca.

An American Chinese is slowly gaining momentum; in 2007 they won a slot at the CMJ Music Marathon after beating several bands to win the Zig-Zag Live Band Competition. This all came off the back of their stunning debut EP Panic Pilgrim, released mid-way through 2007. Pilgrim still hasn't been given the coverage it deserves, but like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, it takes a few listens to decode and tune your imagination to the skewed melody and tangled guitar.

Pilgrim's four tracks are wrapped in cuteness but when the paper's ripped off, there's a sprinkling of ugliness that reveals itself as a beautiful, mutated mess. Over time, the shredded chaos of 'Panic Pilgrim, Quick Grab Your Suitcase' and 'Jersey Claw' starts to weep and only then can the chaos be understood.

Once the teething is over, An American Chinese should emerge as one of 2008's hottest new bands. Panic Pilgrim is available from the band's official website for just $5.


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