February 25, 2008
You have to break a red wax seal to get your grubby little paws on American Catastrophe's "Excerpts from the Broken Bone Choir." The album's handmade packaging connotes a contract between the band and the listener: break the seal, and there's no going back. Imagine a motel lounge in a David Lynch movie where something bad is about to happen: woozy guitars pick out minor chords, cymbals crash and a commanding baritone chants "hang 'em high." The macabre dirge evokes the moody pathos of performers like Nick Cave, Tom Waits, and Marc Ribot. All this and a woozy glaze of reverb glistens like a freshly sharpened pitchfork on "Broken Bone Choir," which the quartet will take on tour in March following shows in Lawrence and its native Kansas City. All four Americans-Shaun Hamontree (guitar and vocals), Terrence Moore (guitar, banjo, harmonica), Amy Farrand (bass), and Eric Bessenbacher (drums)-stopped by to share some "Excerpts" and shoot the breeze with a sawed-off shotgun. The full, podcast version of this interview is online.