Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. Sam Coomes is still disgruntled: with whoever he's sleeping with, with running away, with dystopia itself. But he's catchier about it, and rockier. Maturity comes in many forms.
  2. It's never been easy sticking with Quasi through all their quality-control ups and downs, but American Gong lets bygones be bygones, fitting their sharp wits and bruised hearts into a sound powerful enough to contain them.
  3. Alternative Press
    They may not be reinventing the wheel, but when a band play with this much riotous excitement, who needs reinvention? [Mar 2010, p.98]
  4. The lyrics are sharper and far more introspective, the music is on a grander scale, working towards an overwhelming amount of brilliance and radiance and each musician plays a vital role to the entire album's fruition.
  5. Under The Radar
    American Gong is more thematically and musically diverse than any of their recent records. [Winter 2010, p.65]
  6. Mojo
    Not many bands who've been going since Kurt Cobain was alive are capable of improving on their work. [Apr 2010, p.94]
  7. There's an inherently joyous delivery to them that offsets their recurring themes of age and mortality from start to finish.
  8. Ultimately, this is Weiss' album, with nearly every song showcasing her ability to play the master technician, the muscular soloist, and the mother of all timekeepers.
  9. It begins with two heretofore uncharacteristic forays into garage rock, wanders into several guitar epics, tries on an acoustic guitar and the French language, and somewhere in there plops down a typical Quasi number or two. Unlike their three previous albums, though, Coomes shows up with some bullet-proof material.
  10. Filter
    A glorious mess, just like our fucked-up world. [Winter 2010, p.100]
  11. Quasi's reappearance with their most consistent album in a decade feels appropriate.
  12. American Gong is also blessedly free of typical Quasi jams-- which work live, but can drag on record. There are still lurching, aggro guitar solos and hints at foundations for what will become showcases for improv on tour, but the album's arrangements are simplified and mostly serve their vital hooks.
  13. The result is a frustrating listening experience that makes you wish that the change in their sound didn't prove to be so fleeting. That being said, if you've stood beside the band for this long, there's nothing here to make you sorry that you did.
  14. Quasi's chunky Rocksichord days may be long gone, but that doesn't mean the sense of fun that makes its songs such sugar-sweet treats has to be.
  15. Uncut
    Now bolstered by Joanna Bolme of The Jicks on bass, American Gong feels like a calculated attempt to juice up thier smart, literate rock. [Apr 2010, p.97]
  16. Q Magazine
    Adding bassist Jonana Bolme has sharpened focus, but its' frontman Sam Coomes's guitar that brings a new strut to typically droll psychodrama such as "repusion." [Apr 2010, p.119]
  17. The combination of this 'throwback to '96' sound with confident restraint, and that Quasi have already proven themselves to the die-hards, I'm going to call this timeless underdoggery.
  18. American Gong is frustrating. It's not a bad album by far, based on the usual criteria one arranges on the bar graph of goodness: it's melodic, paced well, pleasant and so on. At the same time, however, there's nothing that marks it as unique in any real way or different from any Quasi album of the past.
  19. While there was an endearing humility to Smith's work, this dour offering provides little comfort.
  20. What the two have come up with next is a new member and a sort of hillbilly Pixies for children, or perhaps a grunge starter kit for Polyphonic Spree fans.
  21. The problem is that too much which follows repeats the same formula with sadly little variation.
User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 1 more rating

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Mar 23, 2012
    This is a good enough alt American rock record but there are plenty of better albums of that genre out there. No doubt it's got some goodThis is a good enough alt American rock record but there are plenty of better albums of that genre out there. No doubt it's got some good stuff on it but there is something about this bands style that stops me from really loving this record. At times their sounds reminds me of the Pixies but without the classic tunes or energy of Black Francis and co. On the plus side - the version I got had a bonus disc with a bit of a Quasi retrospective. Full Review »