Album Review: Quasi – ‘American Gong’


The indie stalwarts don't just bear a resemblance in name

Since the Portland outfit formed in 1993, bent on disturbing the equilibrium of a placid indie-rock scene, they’ve racked up eight albums while their members played in riot grrrl legends [a]Sleater-Kinney[/a] and [b]Stephen Malkmus[/b]’ post-[a]Pavement[/a] backing band [b]The Jicks[/b]. Notably, [a]Quasi[/a] also played with [a]Elliott Smith[/a], and to judge from [b]‘American Gong’[/b], they picked up a trick or two. The album’s introspective tone – typified by [b]‘Everything And Nothing At All’[/b] – strongly evokes Smith, as do its oblique drug references, with [b]‘Bye Bye Blackbird’[/b] offering a fiendish cry for mind-bending hallucinogen DMT. But while there was an endearing humility to Smith’s work, this dour offering provides little comfort.

[b]Ash Dosanjh[/b]

Click here to get your copy of Quasi’s ‘American Gong’ from the Rough Trade shop.