As much fun as he has touring with 3OH!3 and being a member of that act's live band, and as fond as he is of playing in Young Coyotes with Zach Tipton, American Tomahawk is Adam Halferty's baby, the place where he's able to express himself the most freely as an artist.
After spending the bulk of his time on the road with 3OH!3, Halferty is ready to unveil American Tomahawk's debut, Contradictions Generalities Future Criminals, which he recorded in an old church in the foothills of Colorado Springs this past February and co-produced with the help of his pal and former Young Coyotes co-hort, Matt Wilcox (current ringleader of Night Beds), who contributed guitar and keys to the platter.
Contradictions, in which Halferty sings and plays everything else, is slated for release on Friday, September 3, at the Meadowlark, in a show with the Weather Maps (Jimmy Stofer's new outfit) and Centennial (the new band featuring the Meese brothers), and features songs that Halferty wrote last summer while he was on the road with 3OH!3 during the Warped Tour.
"I was trying to deal with the culture shock and depression that comes from being away from your friends," Halferty explains, "and being around so many different people every day."
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Right now, the live version of the band -- whose name was conceived through a dream Halferty had about discussing archaic war tools with a friend -- is made up of Halfterty and some of those friends, Mark Hawkins and Alan Andrews of the Photo Atlas, Brandon Anamire from the Chain Gang of 1974, as well as Isom Innis and Jay J Mattot.
If you're attracted to the breezy, sun-kissed melodies and harmonies of Young Coyotes -- and really, why wouldn't you be; Tipton crafts some of the most memorable melodies in the business -- you're going to absolutely fall in with love American Tomahawk. Besides sharing Halferty, the two acts reside in neighboring subdivisions.
Although the entire album is splendid, there are two tracks on Contradictions in particular that blow up our skirt every time we hear them. The first one is "1993," with its lofty chorus and dark, slightly unsettling lyrics about bedwetting and unspeakable things involving sisters, and "Number One," whose soaring melody is bolstered perfectly by a cherubic underlying harmony. American Tomahawk's greatest strength at this point is the thing that propelled Halferty's other band forward, and that's making instantly hummable music that's sprawling and yet deceptively sparse all at once.