By Naomi Elyse Grey
It’s hard to believe that this band began and, in a way, came to an end in a living room. It’s even harder to believe that despite threats of eviction (which eventually left them with nowhere to go) this band was able to record their most successful album. Most of all it’s hard to get one’s mind around the fact that this band created something that was one of a kind for ten years, and then stopped. Humble beginnings and five tiny sparks are what set the torch of this band aflame. Lee Gillespie, Mark Smith, Craig McCaffrey, Sean Ripple and Andrew Kenny are the individuals that started American Analog Set, a musical sensation whose light may have glimmered, but never went out.
From 1995 to 2005 American Analog Set produced a sound that was mellow, harmonious and different. A time line cut short, the band came out with a total of six albums; but it was their last one, Set Free, that really set the tone for who they had become and how they would be remembered. There is definitely something beautiful about the thirteen songs on this CD, and it’s not just the music but the entire vibe. Play hurt and The Green Green Grass both having a certain level of pain and emotion still manage to embrace the listener with their warm and genuine lyrics. “F*** This… I’m Leaving”, the last song on Set Free had a fitting title, but I think they cared more than that. Listening to this album I feel the work and dedication behind it all is honest, heartfelt and believable.
What makes a band one of a kind isn’t only ability but also drive, and these five musicians definitely had drive well beyond normal. American Analog Set’s songs spoke not only to the demographic, but also to the individual, and in turn it’s the individual’s voices that keep on going, even after the music stops.
Here’s American Analog Set playing live. The song is We’re Computerizing And We Just Don’t Need You Anymore.