Amigo the Devil Keeps Dark Themes in Play on ‘Born Against’ (ALBUM REVIEW)

Amigo the Devil is an artist from Austin who is something of a Renaissance Man. On top of being a musician with something of a cult following, he is also a Master Brewer and attended culinary school.

He is known for singing about dark themes, and that hasn’t changed on the new album Born Against. What has changed is that his musical palette has broadened to include influences of eastern European folk and bolero styles.

The album begins with “Quiet as a Rat”. With a muffled beat and horns, the song feels like it could fit just as easily on a Tom Waits album. It even has some lyrical similarity to Tom Waits when he sings, “Kind isn’t a word I would use for man.” The lyrics throughout the song paint a vivid portrait of a variety of tragic figures and make this song hit like a gut punch.

Making songs like a gut punch is something of a specialty of Amigo the Devil. “Murder at the Bingo Hall” is jarring for a couple reasons. The idea of a player “sending everyone to bingo heaven” is enough to make you a little uneasy. On top of that, the melody creates tension much like the soundtrack of a suspenseful movie.

It’s not easy to classify the style of this album – particularly since each song is different. “Different Anymore” is a subdued acoustic song with some Latin sound in the guitar. This song also features backing vocals that sound like a church choir. By contrast, “24K Casket” seems influenced by ragtime with the banjo and piano. 

This is a decidedly dark album, which is probably a turn-off for some. But then, artists don’t do what they do to make people comfortable. Amigo the Devil is really adept at creating pictures with his words, even if those words make some listeners uneasy. This is an album where every song is a vivid scene that makes you feel something. 

Photo credit: Visions of TheAbyss

Related Content

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts

New to Glide

Keep up-to-date with Glide