What is Americana? Arguments about what this genre represents are still on, even decades later as the term has been used to describe a specific musical blend that is mainly based on American musical streams like country, blues rock, soul, and you can add a few others to the list.
In most cases, when a music release is described with this term listeners expect to hear an artist from the U.S. or possibly from the native English speaking countries. To many listeners though, it still comes as a surprise when an artist or a band comes from another part of the world that supposedly should have very little connection with Americana as a musical blend.
That doesn’t stop artists from around the world trying their hands at the genre. Being a fan though doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be successful at it. Sometimes they don’t feel it, don’t understand it, or singing in English as non-native speakers represents too big a hurdle.
Luckily, none of the above can apply to a quartet out of Zagreb, Croatia, who goes under the name of She Brought Me Gasoline and their debut album On Values and Trash. You can start anywhere, maybe with the band name. The moment you realize that they’ve picked to go under part of the title of the iconic Mississippi Fred McDowell’s blues song, you know that they are not just fans but a group of musicians that have immersed themselves into the sound they love and want to play.
That is also evident throughout the twelve songs here, dominated by the guitar, banjo, and vocals of Kristijan and Žac, and the sound ranging anywhere between Steve Earle and Will Oldham, aka Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy. Of course, you can throw in any number of other names connected with the sound. Still, She Brought Me Gasoline is able to fashion the sound to their own liking, without at any moment veering into any direction that would indicate that they are doing their picking somewhere on Mount Medvednica near Zagreb and not somewhere in the Appalachians.
It just turns out that all the fans of the genre can do with She Brought Me Gasoline’s On Values and Trash is enjoy, as the band has hit the Americana target right on the spot, no matter where they’re from.