• Record Label: Sub Pop
  • Release Date: Sep 13, 2011

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
Buy On
  1. Sep 14, 2011
    What follows is a lovingly balanced set of rural rockers ("Street Fighting Sun") and dirt road ballads ("Girl in a Coat") that sound about as far from the murky introspection of 2010's Destroyer of the Void as one would expect from a band that continuously tries to reinvent themselves within their own psych-folk/alt-country/indie rock universe, and almost always succeeds.
  2. Sep 14, 2011
    Blitzen Trapper still have a way to travel yet, but American Goldwing is a more than a homely waypoint on the road and reason enough to wonder where the band's imagination-and yes, its influences – will take the group next.
  3. Mar 15, 2012
    About half of American Goldwing owes more to Faulkner than Jack London.
  4. Sep 12, 2011
    Sure, they may be well within their comfort zone, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable.
  5. Sep 13, 2011
    American Goldwing is a journey into the unknown, and like the drifters Blitzen Trapper sings about, there's no telling where the group is headed next.
  6. Sep 13, 2011
    Blitzen Trapper's Eric Earley performs the amazing feat of making alt-country seem fresh on the band's gripping sixth album.
  7. The eclectic Portland, Oregon based quintet's 6th studio album is a return to form following last year's Destroyer of the Void, which, despite showcasing Blitzen Trapper's refined instrumental chops, came off as flat, derivative, and fatally overproduced.
  8. 70
    American Goldwing is an all-around great listen - one perfectly suited for late fall nights on the porch or holiday road trips - and it may even be the band's best record to date.
  9. 70
    Earley's songs may adhere to a certain formula, but that formula works wonders on American Goldwing.
  10. 70
    It'd be too easy to dismiss Blitzen Trapper for choosing to release an album that more or less stays inside the lines, opting for convention over innovation. Yet, with American life in the 21st century being so frenzied, it's oddly comforting to listen to a record that doesn't challenge you to keep up with it.
  11. 70
    The songs are stubbornly engaging, filled with characters who drink and regret it, and struggle to understand their own decisions. Tucked amid the pastiche are good laments like "Taking It Easy Too Long," a rueful self-evaluation, and "Love the Way You Walk Away," a brokenhearted shrug.
  12. Sep 9, 2011
    The trouble here is what we know: That they're capable of more. So the question becomes how much we hold our expectations against them, and the way you answer that question will shape how you feel about their latest offering.
  13. Oct 17, 2011
    American Goldwing isn't bad, but it's not particularly exciting when you consider the band's usual standards.
  14. Q Magazine
    Sep 21, 2011
    Hardly coherent, enough of the disparate strands hang together to make it curiously moreish. [Oct 2011, p.112]
  15. Under The Radar
    Sep 14, 2011
    Standing between The Allman Brothers Band and Creedence Clearwater Revival is a high task, and this time, it gets a little lost in between. [Jul 2011, p.78]
  16. Sep 13, 2011
    When the band kicks on the distortion, things pick up immensely.
  17. Sep 12, 2011
    It's a simplistic but intoxicating roots fantasy - full of Dylan mysticism, spidery acoustic Dead jamming, tasty 1970s rock moves and evocations of high-plains drifters with itchy trigger fingers drinking from jam jars.
  18. Uncut
    Sep 9, 2011
    Their thing is Troubadour-era rootsy rocking rather than harmonic rapture, but American Goldwing's free-wheeling charms are still hard to resist. [Oct 2011, p.81]
  19. Sep 20, 2011
    Ultimately, the trip they're taking us on isn't into America, but into the past, and they show too much reverence for their forebears.
  20. Oct 31, 2011
    Sure, Blitzen Trapper attempt to vary the formula a bit--there's the jangly campfire number, or that one about astronauts--but when it comes right down to it, everything's all the same.
  21. Oct 20, 2011
    The eclectic approach was often messy but also fresh, which can't be said for their middling sixth LP.
  22. Oct 17, 2011
    What makes American Goldwing so disappointing and, frankly, dull is that Blitzen Trapper seems entirely unconcerned with sounding either fresh or interesting.
  23. Sep 12, 2011
    Plodding rhythms predominate and there's a prevalent sense of nostalgia that sometimes threatens to become a little syrupy, not least because of the numerous cliches about highways or the open road.
  24. Sep 11, 2011
    Goldwing is just too canonical to tell us anything novel about either heartland or heart.
  25. Sep 9, 2011
    American Goldwing does eerily recreate that saggy, limbo-like feeling of the mid-1970s, before punk happened, and when much music of the period hung as wearily as bellbottoms--but presumably that form of nostalgia was unintentional.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Sep 29, 2011
    I will say this is my favorite release of the year so far. Their others albums are brilliant imo both lyrically and musically but more of anI will say this is my favorite release of the year so far. Their others albums are brilliant imo both lyrically and musically but more of an acquired taste to many. This album however keeps that vibe but also has the most straight forward and mass appealing songs they have ever written like Fletcher and Love The Way You Walk Away. The latter is one of my favorite songs ever written. I feel Eric Earley is one of the most underrated lyricists right now and music. He is unreal. For those who have not heard of this band, this would be the perfect starter album to build interest. Too bad that fool shrimp has no clue who these guys are. Full Review »
  2. Sep 15, 2011
    This album, to me, hits the sweet spot. Sure, it reaches back to Skynyrd, the Band, the Allman Bros, etc. But perhaps that is not a badThis album, to me, hits the sweet spot. Sure, it reaches back to Skynyrd, the Band, the Allman Bros, etc. But perhaps that is not a bad thing, ey? There is no doubt that this album rocks like so little of contemporary releases- -even ones I really like--do. And is that not refreshing? Full Review »
  3. Sep 15, 2011
    It bothers me that The Guardian wrote the following line in their review. "but presumably that form of nostalgia was unintentional." ThisIt bothers me that The Guardian wrote the following line in their review. "but presumably that form of nostalgia was unintentional." This bothers me because if they had done just a little bit of background research, they would have realized that the nostalgia experienced while listening to this album was 100% intentional. Blitzen Trapper's main singer Eric Earley said it in an interview near first announcing their new album. When asked what he's trying to express when crafting the album, he says "It's me trying to evoke a true American nostalgia." When it comes to modern albums/bands attempting to recreate that 70's rock feeling, Blitzen Trapper have created a true nostalgic masterpiece. The only thing this album is missing is a small bit more of the creation that the band can call their own. This album is one of the most immediately enjoyable albums I have listened to this year. No matter how much the critics and hipsters say it's not creative, I can tell you that I don't care. Sometimes it's nice to have a break from the overwhelming creativity that's sprouting in a lot of new music nowadays. For Blitzen Trapper to bring us back to the simpler days when everybody could sit around and enjoy some of the popular rock music I think is absolutely genius. Say what you will about this album and it's so-called "Underwhelming" creativity, I think a good album is one you can immediately enjoy, and this album definitely fits that category. Full Review »