Album Review: Amigo The Devil – Yours Until The War Is Over

The Breakdown

Sublime lyricism crafted over ear grabbing Americana in a near to perfect album that is a sheer delight from start to finish.

‘Yours Until The War Is Over’ is Amigo The Devil’s (Danny Kiranos) third studio album and the first to be entirely recorded, produced and engineered in-house. The album title is a reference to the love affair between Ernest Hemingway and his nurse Agnes von Kurowsky in the closing months of World War I, a (trauma) bond that developed after the future novelist was severely wounded in Italy just after becoming a Red Cross volunteer at the age of 18. She would sometimes end her love letters by writing “Yours until the war is over,” a sign-off that proved prophetic. Her ultimate rejection devastated and scarred him.

The creepy brilliance of ‘Hanging By The Roots’ starts things off and it is pure Devil. Equal parts soothing and menacing its laid back country allows Kinaros to flex his storytelling muscle. However, it’s not Amigo without the banjo and the second track ‘It’s All Gone’ hangs on the banjo twang and some inventive percussion. Kinaros has such an inviting voice that you are forced to listen and when you do the magic of this man’s lyrical brilliance works its spell. You can hear the junkyard sound of Tom Waits particularly in the junk percussion.

‘Im Going To Heaven’ injects some rock into the album with fuzzed up country guitar. Winding dark themes over beautiful melodies is what Amigo does so well. The first two singles ‘Cannibal Within’ and ‘The Mechanic’ epitomise what Amigo the Devil is. The essence of what his music is. Gentle beautiful melodies that hide bite with thought provoking lyrics that dig deep. Personal songs that feel like he had to write and that also turn out to be so relatable and moments of escapism as the lyrical wrap around the listener.

After the pause to take a breather that was ‘The Mechanic’, ‘Once Upon A Time in Texaco Pt.1’ brings the darkness back over banjo led and unhinged vocals. The man’s voice is one of the most expressive out there.

The banjo continues with a finely constructed melody on the track ‘Barrel And Staghorn’, backed by warming acoustic as spools of TV and clips of media are played rising and falling over the soothing backing. There’s a heavy loss in the track which ushers in the second part of the album which starts with ‘Agnes’.

His ability to hit all the emotions associated with his song subjects and to craft efficient use of words to hit and hit hard. ‘Garden Of Leaving’ Will ruin you. Listen with care. Probably one of the most heart wrenching tracks Kinaros has ever written.

‘Virtue And Vitriol’ the swooning backing vocals the rolling guitar and that expressive voice. This track doesn’t save you after you were ripped apart by ‘Garden Of Leaving’. ‘Virtue And Vitriol’ is a late night track full of meaning where you feel the Devil speak to your soul.

Safety comes in the form of the ragtime silliness of ‘One Day At A Time’. Hilarious and clever lyrics and a foot tapping Americana beat that flows neatly in the hilarious ‘Stray Dog’ which adds a touch of electric with a crash with heavily distorted guitars making a mess over the steady percussion.

Final track ‘Closer’ is poetic heartbreak in the way of Tom Waits on Bastards, Brawlers and Bawlers. A hypnotic masterclass of listener engagement as modern life and psyche is unwrapped laid bare requesting the listener to reevaluate. The subtle vinyl crackle is all that is left as one of the greatest life affecting album finishes. This isn’t an album to rate by how brilliant the songs are but how much you are affected by each and every word.

There is no real way of describing this man’s talent. With this album, he makes you laugh, cry and think without you really knowing how. His ability to craft an emotion with just a few words is staggering. Some people need huge orchestras and the highest of production values to move the listener here Kinaros just needs breath.

Check out the track The Mechanic, below:

Purchase the album here

Find out more via Kiranos’s Website or Facebook

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1 Comment

  1. […] Read our review of the album here […]

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