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Amigo the Devil’s ‘Yours Until the War is Over’: album review

“Yours Until the War is Over” is the fourth album released by Amigo the Devil, one of the most slept-on artists currently producing music. The album is a thematic continuation of Amigo’s past discography, and should not only leave long time fans impressed at the extremely high level of songwriting he has maintained on every album—while continuously evolving his style—but new listeners should be drawn into the creative and unique genre bending styling that only Amigo the Devil can produce. 


Amigo the Devil, the stage name of Danny Kiranos, is hard to pin down to one genre—with his common classifications as murder folk, neo-folk or folk punk meaning very little to most listeners. Kiranos has few peers in his specific breed of music. His songs, which at times are an energetic and rage filled merging of bluegrass and metal music, are equally often slow and solemn ballads more solidly in the folk or singer-songwriter genre. But every song contains Kiranos’ staple brand of morbidity and dark humor.


The core sound of Amigo the Devil is Kiranos’ deep, smooth singing voice, ranging from vaguely to explicitly southern, and his guitar or banjo. This most recent release, as well as the prior album, also heavily feature a backing band, which take more extravagant songs, such as “I’m Going to Heaven” and “Stray Dog” to such awesome levels they provoke chills. That may sound dramatic, but Kiranos has this special sound that reverberates deep within listeners. Certain songs hit in that way that basically only Leonard Cohen songs hit. 


Amigo’s fantastic songwriting, while beautifully shown off in his instrumentals, continues to shine through his lyrics—which will also be the biggest hurdle for some new listeners. Amigo the Devil is dubbed a murder folk artist for a reason. His songs contain constant and often violent depictions of death, in addition to many other dark topics. “Yours Until the War is Over” contains songs about a miscarriage, a deadly armed robbery, suicide and plenty more that listeners could find offensive or triggering. Personally, I find the possibly off-putting themes explored in Amigo the Devil’s music to be either very entertaining or an effective way to tell brutally honest, tragic stories. 


But darkness aside, Amigo the Devil is a very clever lyricist. Every other line seems to contain often silly but always impressive wordplay or references. Most of which cannot be done justice through short quotations because of the layers of context given throughout a song and the emphasis the instrumentals so masterfully provide. But a single listen to “Once Upon a Time at Texaco pt. 1” and you will have a clear idea what I mean.


“Yours Until the War is Over” contains 13 songs, two of which are more about setting an atmosphere than providing a song that can be enjoyed on its own, which should encourage listeners of the album to listen to it all the way through, in order. This album captures, just as Amigo the Devil’s first three albums have, a perfect blending of funny and upbeat morbid songs and emotionally raw and resonant slower pieces, which can be enjoyed independent of each other, but are worth listening to in the order Kiranos arranged them. (Watch out for “Garden of Leaving” and “Closer” if you don’t feel like getting misty eyed.)


Every time I listen to this album through, it gets better and better—and I loved it since my first listen. Amigo the Devil is a weird and edgy musician and yet I truly cannot imagine anyone disliking his music. I strongly recommended “Yours Until the War is Over” for anyone interested, but for first time listeners, I would also direct you towards the songs “Hell and You,” “Murder at the Bingo Hall” or “Hungover in Jonestown.” Please just give Amigo the Devil a listen with an open mind; he is ridiculously talented and making music that no one else is making.

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