John Amadon

The Bursting Sheaf

Written by: BV on 26/02/2013 20:05:22

John Amadon is truly a peculiar musician. He doesn't seem to be the hyper self-promoting artist that many other indie musicians eventually turn out to be. As a matter of fact, he is tough to find on the internet – save for his bandcamp page and a couple of articles about him. From what I've read so far, he doesn't seem to tour either and just makes albums because he feels like it. Nonetheless, John Amadon will be the focus of this review as it revolves around his latest creation: “The Bursting Sheaf”.

The Bursting Sheaf instantly reminds of an amphetamine riddled version of Wilco – it's fast, it's sort of country at points and many of the vocal stylings reminds me of Jeff Tweedy in one way or another. To be fair though, the entire album doesn't sound like a Wilco rip-off or anything like that, it's just my initial impression of something it leans up against stylistically. With that said though, the album has multiple facets to it – just when I've decided that it sounds like Wilco, a song like “Set Stone” shows up. “Set Stone” is essentially a piano-driven ballad, but somehow it doesn't come off as being particularly corny – which is exactly what piano ballads do in my mind. The track seemingly possesses a sort of feel to it, an authenticity if you will. It's not driven by a desire to be played on the radio or anything like that at all – basically it just seems like a track that ended up like this, because that's what came out. No ulterior motives or anything like that, which is possibly what I like about it.

There are also moments of the album that I don't really care for at all. They're not bad songs per se, they just seem uninteresting or bland to me. One of these tracks could easily be the album opener “Saltwater Crocodile” which has an up-tempo teenage garage-band feel to it, complete with heavily distorted guitar parts and a rhythmic pattern similar to many ska-punk songs – only the horn section actually seems to be missing for this track to actually become a bit more interesting. The track is also instrumental, which possibly adds to my indifference to it as I have recently become spoiled with many albums of instrumental goodies far superior to this – reasonable comparison or not, it is what happens when listening to a particular spectrum of music for a while, only to find oneself reviewing something entirely different.

So, even though this album is rock solid at many points, there are also certain points that are either misplaced or just seem unfinished to my ears. The tracks I like though, I like a lot so good work on those. I am not certain I'll recover this album from the shelf anytime soon, but who knows – it might be a joyous reunion nonetheless.

Download: Set Stone, Meet Me When I Call, Dream Your Dream Alone
For The Fans Of: Wilco, The Wallflowers, Billy Wallace & The Virginia Blues

Release Date 05.03.2013

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