American Anymen

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Brett Sullivan (vocals, guitars, violin, bass), Scott Fragala (bass), James Knoerl (drums)

American Anymen are a New York antifolk band that recently leapt into industrial metal with a punk feel. The band started in 1999, initially as a video project architected by Brett Sullivan and some friends. The videos needed to be scored, and so some music was recorded on a four track. This became the first American Anymen audio product, developing in the Lower East Side antifolk scene. They soon hooked up with Olive Juice Music and became a collective of musicians who participated as they were available. Monica Samalot (Paleface), James Levy (Reputante/Lolawolf), Jen Turner (Here We Go Magic/Natalie Merchant), Hannah Nichols (Razor Braids), Lise, Scott Fragala, Michael Leah Eisig, and Tracy Brooks were all frequent collaborators.

By 2012, American Anymen had released seven LP’s and had played shows across most of the U.S. and Europe. Additionally, the band played highlight shows at Le’ Passion Rouge (LPR) and The Hammerstein Ballroom at Manhattan Center. They released the full length Start My Center, which was mixed in part by Ryan Jarman (The Cribs). American Anymen next put out two collaborative singles, the first with Toby Goodshank (The Moldy Peaches) and the other with David Ivar (Herman Dune). Brett Sullivan met French synth pop artist Lise at a Brooklyn open mic night, and they decided to start playing music together. They released three EP’s. In 2017 Brett made the entire Herman Dune album Sweet Thursday into a feature length video.

In 2019 the band started to play more exclusively their heavier songs, and during the pandemic, Brett bought an electric guitar. Needless to say, he started to learn to play with a more severe metal edge. The singles “A Tangled Square” and “No Janitor Could Ever Clean This Mess” were released and the recording of the new album Cities Changing Names began. The album features eleven songs that focus on the declining state of the world and the culture that influences the fall.

Cities Changing Names is an album of sonic violence and unbridled energy. Each cut is a burst of power that features a sort of pristine mechanization wearing a cloak of raw, human tragedy. This sweet dichotomy is both elegant and hard core, addictive and welcoming. The musical presentation itself is based on this technique of pairings reversed in no clearer a manner than the production of the drums versus the vocals. The “norm” would have the hummingbird 16ths deep and resounding, the snare rich and reverberant. In turn, the vocal would be “up close,” like the “presence” we all enjoy face to face, in that intimate moment right before a kiss. Here, American Anymen turn that on its head, presenting the drum sounds in your face and at the very doorstep of your heart, close enough to touch, while making the vocal echoed, distant, haunting, and mysterious. Each track raises the level of the game in terms of brute force and fireworks, and the listener comes away feeling potent and strong.

Cities Changing Names by American Anymen was released worldwide via Eclipse Records on June 10, 2022.