The keyboard trio, American Tears, is back with their vintage prog sound/approach (and lyrics that prove quite relevant in today’s headlines) on their fifth album overall, ‘White Flags’ – released on July 26th via Escape Music in association with 12:12 Records.
With influences from his earlier work, tipping an occasional hat to ELP, Moody Blues and even Deep Purple, this new album shows the daring, and pure emotion, that can be ripped out of those instruments. In fact, the band may be the only band on the planet playing exclusively keyboard rock! American Tears defies the term “generic” as this purely original music, and scathing lyrics, have few if any standards for comparison – as evidenced by such standout tracks as the nine minute-plus ‘Fire Down Below‘, the epic title track, the synth/organ-heavy album opener, ‘Turn U On‘, and the space age ‘Waltz of the Angels‘. The album along with a bundle that includes American Tears t shirt can be purchased via this link – https://dekomusic.weebly.com/american-tears-sales.html.
American Tears released its first record, ‘Branded Bad‘, on Columbia Records in 1974 and its second, ‘Tear Gas‘, in 1975. Formed in the fertile musical environment of Long Island, New York, the band was initially made up of Gary Sonny, on bass, Tommy Gunn on drums and Mark Mangold on keys and vocals. For the second record, Greg Baze took over the bass duties. The band was a power keyboard trio, using keyboards of the day, Hammond organ, synths, mellotron, clavinet, electronic melodica and playing progressive music which showed the bands stellar musicianship. Eclectic in their approach, their heartfelt music ranged from aggressive keyboard based extravaganzas to beautiful lush melodies circling pop of the day.
The band was fortunate to have toured major venues with such bands as Peter Frampton, J. Geils, Alvin Lee, Gentle Giant, Gary Wright, John McLaughlin and many others. They reached a wide audience and had an impressive show, topped off by Mangold doing handstands on his Hammond. Mark, surrounded by 12 keyboards, Tommy being almost invisible behind a huge battery of drums, with Gary, and later Greg, showing their bass virtuosity in front of a wall of amps, the band stressed musicianship and musicality, while exploring new sounds, and always pushing the envelope.
The third American Tears album, ‘Powerhouse‘, added the guitarist and singer, Craig Brooks, and the band evolved into the critically acclaimed band Touch…but that is another story. The fourth American Tears album ‘Hard Core‘ heralded the return by Mark to this keyboard based approach, using instruments only available in the 70’s when the band made its first foray.
And now, American Tears has offered arguably their best release yet, ‘White Flags‘ – proving that vintage prog sounds featuring keyboard and challenging song structures is still alive and well!
1 Turn U On
2 Wake Up City
3 Hell Or High Water
4 Waltz Of The Angels
5 Fire Down Below
6 Give Me More
7 Love Is Love
8 Turn The Page (Blue Dog)
9 Pitch Black
10 Keep On Movin’
11 White Flags