San Francisco post-punk band Steakhouse has released a captivating music video for their song “National,” featured on their highly regarded album, ‘Amer Rouge.’ Known for their ability to capture the seedier aspects of American culture, Steakhouse offers viewers a visually striking representation of the song’s themes.
In ‘Amer Rouge,’ Steakhouse delves into the nuances of American society, cleverly encapsulating the various manifestations of destitution and societal decay. The album’s title itself, “Amer Rouge,” boldly references the significance of the color red as a symbol tied to pervasive ideologies and entities, such as MAGA hats, Marlboro advertisements, blood, debt, and other large-scale influences. Through their music, Steakhouse masterfully breaks down these vast concepts into digestible vignettes, offering glimpses into the ways people strive to maintain their sense of self, even in the most challenging circumstances.
While some of the stories explored in ‘Amer Rouge‘ are not entirely desolate, Steakhouse effortlessly intertwines humor and tragedy, showcasing their ability to find levity in the most absurd and distressing situations. Tracks like “Federale,” “Travolta,” and “No. 1” exemplify the band’s skill in infusing satire into everyday experiences while also delivering impactful realities. Drawing comparisons to Black Flag’s “White Minority,” their anthem-like song “National” resonates strongly with its militant nature, reflecting the divisiveness, violence, and narrow-mindedness prevalent in today’s political climate. It strikes a chord with listeners precisely because it hits so close to home.
Steakhouse approaches their music from an anthropological perspective, employing observation rather than personal narratives as their lyrical foundation. This approach adds an extra layer of authenticity to each track on ‘Amer Rouge,’ effortlessly blending post-punk, krautrock, and Americana influences. The result is a sonically intense yet thought-provoking album, offering a stark reflection of our collective reality.
Every decision made in the creation of ‘Amer Rouge‘ was deliberate. Drawing inspiration from the steady rhythms of Can and the deep bass tones of Public Image Ltd., Steakhouse enlisted the expertise of Joe Goldring (known for his work with American Music Club and Swans) as their engineer, along with John McEntire (of Tortoise and The Sea and Cake) for mixing.
Steakhouse comprises Mark Lee on vocals/keyboards (formerly of Toiling Midgets), Reid Black on guitar (formerly of Innaway, currently of Into Another), drummer Brian Michelson, and bassist Ville Vilpponen.