American Thrills Reflect on Leaving the Past Behind on New Album Parted Ways

4.5 out of 5 stars

Connecticut punk rock band American Thrills formed in 2020 during the pandemic, and they have quickly become a punk rock force of nature.

Their debut album Parted Ways is a continuation of their mission to create a more rock-based punk sound.

The songs range from straightforward rock style songs to some punk-infused anthems to even a bit of a more Americana rock song like that of “Interpretations.”

That particular song starts out a bit on the slow side and builds into a bit of a rock song as it goes, but it doesn't really seem to pick up the speed of other songs which definitely makes this song standout on the album.

The first single off the album “Ivy League Swing” reminds me a bit of Social Distortion’s “Story of My Life” for some reason…maybe because I have just recently listened to it. But it’s mostly that intro. 

There is a good little riff on the second guitar that plays through the verse that jangles a bit like an old punk tune might, and, of course, the chorus is quite catchy.

Their newest single “Ego Death” - which is the last song on the album - is a bit of a grudge song over an old acquaintance (from high school) who seems to have been giving a lot of opportunities that the writer did not have. 

I am not sure what exactly happened in the relationship, but it basically feels like the speaker is bitter about this person having a comfortable existence and is just learning to cope with that feeling and trying to let it go.

Of course, the tone and lyrics don’t exactly make you believe that the speaker is even capable of letting it go. If this feeling has been there this long, it is likely not going away any time soon.

It’s definitely the story of the haves and have nots in a small town.

The first track on the album “Sinking” starts off like a very typical punk album might with a great uptempo drum beat and a bit of guitar riff with a solid solo…rocking out right from the start.

It kind of reminds me of Less Than Jake on their old albums like Hello Rockview where they talk about trying to escape the fate of living in their hometown and leaving their old friends behind (either through moving out of town or death).

Much like their band name would lead you to believe, the music of American Thrills seems to be inspired by nostalgia mixed with the adult perspective of looking back with the added experience of time passed and knowledge gained to reflect on how the past has died in some way or another.

You can easily capture the concept of the songs on this album just from the album name (Parted Ways, remember?) which clues you in on the themes for the songwriting.

The album is 9 songs long, and it definitely feels like an homage to small town living. Anyone who grew up in the Midwest or in a city of less than 100,000 elsewhere will likely connect with this album very easily.

Most people in the U.S. probably couldn’t find Connecticut on a map, so here’s me telling you to go check out American Thrills, then go look at a map and find Connecticut, because these guys are literally putting Connecticut rock music “on the map.”