The Quiet Americans is a Californian duo with a debut EP, Medicine, out now on Coattrack. The band, in addition to being quite loud, is made up of in-laws, as drummer Eli Reyes is married to singer and guitar player Luke Giffen’s sister. It was a complete family-band affair for a month or so when Giffen’s little brother and cousins joined the lineup, but the core remains Giffen/Reyes. That remains true for the music as well, as it’s a pure combo of garage guitar and drums. There’s some moog synth on the EP in addition to bass, but the California garage-rock sound is center stage. The band cites Link Wray and Dinosaur Jr. as influences but would be in good company too with that garage virtuoso, fellow Californian Ty Segall.
The Americans’ video for the first track off Medicine, “Be Alone,” is cut together from what appears to be footage from a 1926 expedition to the North Pole and a nature documentary about owls—mask owls, if we’re not mistaken. The distinctive nocturnal birds seem to dig this track as much as we do, bobbing and swaying their necks (that can turn to either side up to 270 degrees). We learned a lot from this video. Apparently Giffen works at a zoo during the day—perhaps in the aviary—which would explain all the owl love going on here.