REVIEW: American Greed — Together (SINGLE)
There’s well over a century’s worth of collective experience making first rate music underlying everything American Greed does. The quartet’s new single “Together” is the title song from their latest collection and deserves the label rock anthem without ever succumbing to that style’s cliched drawbacks. Their massed talents build the track up from a promising beginning into a stirring, life-affirming exercise that’s earned the band considerable plaudits and attention.
“Together” has landed in the top slot on two key modern music charts, the Euro Indie Music and World Indie Music charts. It has over 300,000 Spotify streams and counting while the track’s video has notched over 400,000 views on the YouTube platform. Drummer and founder Michael Mesey, longtime skinbeater for Head East and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Chuck Berry, has enlisted four other musician who share the same musical vision as their bandleader. His pairing with bass player Jeff Peterson provides a solid yet mobile underpinning for this performance.
The clear highlight of the track, however, is the duet between the band’s singer Dave Farver and guest vocalist Nancy J. Ramirez. The duo adopts a traditional approach towards structuring the vocals that works in the song’s favor, but the real attraction for many will be the close similarities between their voices. There’s enough difference between the timber of their respective vocal cords, however, to generate a lot of sparks.
The Spanish-language version of this track is as successful as its English counterpart. Reaching out to this sizable, loyal, and discerning audience is an excellent decision but it never feels calculated to meet marketplace demands. Even those unfamiliar with Spanish should be able to enjoy the track without reservation but fluent listeners will find this performance satisfying. Malcolm Springer’s engineering and production contributions play a part, without question, in framing Farver and Ramirez’s singing in the best possible light.
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It is a track that’s straight to the point, eschewing any sort of self-indulgence, and reflects the massive amount of experience Mesey and his cohorts bring to the table. Lead guitarist Matt Arana is a standout of this track. His fretwork is dramatic without ever sounding unnecessarily flashy and the melodic virtues present in his soloing leaves a mark on listeners.
You can’t question the songwriting. Mesey and his bandmates aren’t intent on remaking the wheel but, instead, playing to strong fundamentals rather than attempting to break new ground. They are accomplished and skilled arrangers working within American Greed who interject a shot of sincerity into the song’s venerable structure. It’s timeless and modern in the same breath.
It bodes well for their future as well. Title tracks for any full-length release are typically viewed as marquee tracks and this fits the bill. It, likewise, points towards continued success for this experienced, critically acclaimed, and well-traveled outfit. This isn’t pop music nor a readily disposable confection. American Greed’s “Together” makes a significant impact right now but has the durability to remain on many listeners’ favorites’ lists for some time to come.