American Mars
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American Mars

Band Rock Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Review of No City Fun (2001)"

Hailing from Detroit, yet having not a trace of the Motor City rock element, the ethereal sound of American Mars is an impassioned and moody brand of indie-Americana. One might compare this to the mid-period work of Joe Henry. American Mars even find ultra-inspired moments where they kick it up a few notches for a moving and dynamic effect.

- Miles of Music

"No City Fun (2001)"

American Mars, during the years between recordings, has become a leaner, more confusing, and profound rock & roll band by aiming for the lyrical places where only ghosts dare to whisper and the musical spaces where past, present, and future bleed into one another as the timelessness of one endless twilight sky.
-Thom Jurek
- All Music Guide

"No City Fun (2001)"

American Mars’ No City Fun is a pedal steel-laden, song-driven disc rich with gentle sadness, melodic acumen and knotty wordplay whose reference points fall somewhere between Yo La Tengo, Calexico and the Flying Burrito Brothers. In a just world, American Mars would be huge.
-Brian Smith
- Detroit Metro Times


Late (CD-1997)
No City Fun (CD-2001)
Western Sides (CD-2007)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Since its inception in the late nineties, American Mars has been a quiet anomaly in their hometown of Detroit. In a town often passed over by touring roots acts, American Mars has persevered for almost a decade with its own brand of atmospheric Americana-influenced pop. This October, the band will release its third full-length release, Western Sides, on its own Gangplank Records label.

Produced by the band’s pedal steel player David Feeny (Blanche, Loretta Lynn), Western Sides covers a lot of ground in its 11 songs, ranging from the lonesome grace of “Long Walk Home,” to the cutting defiance of “Democracity,” and the whispered elegy of “Sunray.” Propelled by the band’s combination of guitar, pedal steel, upright bass, and drums, American Mars makes the most of its affection for Dylan, Lucinda Williams, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds to produce a body of work on Western Sides that pulses with emotional honesty and harmonic beauty.

American Mars’ 2001 release, No City Fun, combined inide-rock and post-punk elements with fragments of Eno/Lanois-influenced ambience. Reviewers compared the band’s music to such diverse artists as Joe Henry, the Dream Syndicate and Blue Nile while their emotional and cathartic live shows earned them support slots for 16 Horsepower, The National, Clem Snide, Tim Easton, Elbow, and Magnolia Electric Company.

Recording sessions for the follow-up to No City Fun began in the fall of 2003 on the heels of the band’s last shows in support of the record and their appearance at South by Southwest. Recording halted in 2004, however, when bassist Garth Girard notified the band that he had been diagnosed with colon cancer. As a result, the band’s attention immediately turned to assisting Garth and his family through his treatment and recovery. After being given a clean bill of health in 2006, the band soon returned to writing and recording material for what was to become Western Sides with a newfound sense of perspective and appreciation for the chance to make music together.

Given the length of time between recordings, the members of American Mars know that Western Sides might as well be the band’s debut. Maybe that’s why Western Sides reaches out to listeners with a focus and intimacy only hinted at on the band’s previous recordings. Indeed, there is a feeling of purpose and resilience that runs throughout Western Sides, in both the confidence and directness of its musical ideas and singer/songwriter Thomas Trimble’s tales of characters caught in the crush of life’s baffling extremes and their struggles with fidelity, time, fear, and desire.