There are two ways to review Contradictions, Generalities, and Future Criminals. The first involves talking about Adam Halferty and his involvement across every level of the Denver music scene. The second is to look at American Tomahawk in its own regard: the method of choice for this writer.
Contradictions might be what I consider an “escapist-rock” album. Halferty, while poetic, doesn’t mince words about how strange life can become and the means by which people create their own realities. In fact, several songs play through with imagery and words that could be taken as dying last words. “Sunshine People” proposes “Tell my friends and lovers anything but the truth [...] forgive me for the shit that I’ve been through.”
Disillusionment with ideas about truth provides for a thoroughly thought-provoking listening experience in addition to the sheer production quality at play. For a debut release, American Tomahawk got it right the first time. A certain cohesive tone brings everything together as one song transitions to the next (case-in-point: the transition between “Please” and “Las Vegas” plays through with a fluidity that feels like nothing more than a brief rest in a longer song).
Given the strength of their debut mid-length (at 7 tracks it’s more than an EP, but still shy of being an LP), it will be interesting to see where American Tomahawk ends up. If you have the chance, try to see them live (which may be difficult since their shows have been few and far between).
Contradictions, Generalities and Future Criminals is available via the American Tomahawk BandCamp page, and is streaming below.