I Ruined America

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Somewhere between watery grunge and psychedelic riffage is where I Ruined America, the album released by Scott Grimm under the Dunlavy name in 1995 after the Mike Gunn broke up, finds itself. It's a bit of a snapshot of the time to a degree, but a stately one, with the trio's instrumental focus helping it stand out from many of its peers. Occasional spoken word breaks, as on the near title track "I'm Ruining America" and other songs featuring distorted or understated singing feature throughout, but if anything, Grimm's guitar work is the most eloquent voice in the band, an alternately yearning and then dramatic compressed scrawl of notes. His elegantly droned-out background work on "M.B.I.B." is worth a listen on its own, simple but powerful, while "Duncan" allows him the chance for a full-on triumphant march of feedback. At the album's queasiest on "Forsaken," with slowed-down vocals up against a gentle stately guitar figure and calm rhythm section, the sense of disorientation is effective as well as hummable.