Rare Americans, rare, possibly because they’re from Canada, are one of those bands who seem too good to be true; who have already nailed their sound so thoroughly that you aren’t so much looking for bands to compare them to but are already using them as the yardstick by which all others must be judged.
Take the video for starters. This is the kind of animated video a Grammy-stuffed rock band produce 20 years into their career (and this isn’t meant in a negative way). It’s thrillingly slick, yet hits all the contrary punk notes along the way: like the track itself, it’s stridently confident, with blatant disregard for critics and naysayers – this is fun rock music for people who live their lives eating and drinking the stuff.
When their former band, The Lunas, dissembled, front man James Priestner and guitarist Lubo Ivan didn’t have to look far for a new recruit. During a family holiday in The Caribbean, front man James uncovered a song writing chemistry with his brother, Jared. Now based in Vancouver, churning out a seemingly endless stream of acoustic punk-pop bullets, Rare Americans are the real deal and are here for the long game.
Though the Canadian upstarts cite The Strokes, Rancid, and Bad Religion among their influences, it’s an early Beastie Boys dynamic that really defines them, from attitude to style to sound. Their genre-bending anthems are topped off by gang vocals from friends that were available on the days of vocal tracking, underscoring the recording process as a truly inclusive and DIY process.
“We like to write songs about the underbelly of society. I find we often have all sorts of crazy characters in our songs dealing with a multitude of different problems that life presents us all.”
The album was mastered by producer Joe Chiccarelli (White Stripes, The Strokes), while drummer Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse, The Shins) and bassist Yukki Matthews (The Shins) aided backing duties in the studio. The animated video is courtesy of Brooklyn-based artist Harry Tietelman (Adult Swim/Killer Mike’s “Reagan” video).