Holy Sons Decline of the West

Holy Sons Decline of the West
If you are a fan of Grails then you know Emil Amos as the shape behind the drums, able to conjure beats from Sabbath to Gurtu. Lately that outfit hired another touring drummer and unleashed Amos’s previously hidden arsenal of instrumental talents. With Holy Sons, he proves that he can excel as a songwriter and bedroom toiler as well. Decline of the West has the fingerprints of tinkering with details until each track has just the right vocal reverb, sitar sample and rightwing radio diatribe. The best tracks, like "Satanic Androids,” have that groggy, blissful quality of early Beta Band or a smoked-out Pinback. "Evil Falls” is what might have happened if CSNY had bumped into Manson instead of the Beach Boys, but also reminds of us of Amos’s tenure as guitarist in Dolorean. He earns extra outsider points covering Daniel Johnston and Jad Fair’s "Nothing Left,” turning it into a minor revival anthem. If Beck ever converted from Scientology to Zoroastrianism, this is the album he’d hope to make. (Soudaine Compagnie)