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 Sleater-Kinney and Stephen Malkmus’ post-Pavement backing band The Jicks. Notably, Quasi also played with Elliott Smith, and to judge from ‘American Gong’, they picked up a trick or two. The album’s introspective tone – typified by ‘Everything And Nothing At All’ – strongly evokes Smith, as do its oblique drug references, with ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’ 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.

Ash Dosanjh

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

6 / 10

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