Before, listening to Don Caballero
felt similar to being beaten over the head with a huge baseball bat of pure audible genius: often too overwhelming and complicated for your average music listener to listen to for very long, much less understand. With American Don
, it seems that the baseball bat has been traded in for a pillow, and instead of beating they are slowly smothering. Much of the aggressive bite of the music has been simmered out: distortion is much more rare, time changes have been minimized, even the notoriously breakneck drumming of Damon Che
has been sedated. The only piece that seems most similar to the styles they had established before is the extremely quirky and choppy "Details on How to Get ICEMAN on Your License Plate"; the rest only briefly moves through familiar places, instead choosing to uproot and shapeshift in listeners' collective faces. Those familiar with Ian
's other band Storm & Stress
might also notice a bit of flowing over from the techniques and styles on their records.
As always, innovation, progression, and surprise seem to be a significant part of the Don Caballerian
musical mindset; something is always surfacing out of unexpected dimensions and throwing you miles from where you thought you were heading. This is complicated and explosive. This is American Don
: an eloquently stuttered statement of instability and grace all at once.