What makes an American original? It's a combination of traits: a free spirit, a rustic appearance, a pride in craftsmanship and honesty. They're the qualities advertising executives try to sell as Wrangler jeans and Marlboro cigarettes. The real thing is rare. Johnny Cash was an American original. So is Neil Diamond, even with his over-the-top stage outfits.

Scott "Wino" Weinrich also makes the cut. He's written and recorded superlative metal for decades and exudes don’t-give-a-shit vibes. His new album Adrift shows what a special artist he is and why he can be mentioned in lofty company. Wino has made a career of singing about despair, depression, and addiction in front of huge stacks of amplifiers. But he's equally as potent with an acoustic guitar and a microphone. I imagine his recent acoustic shows with Scott Kelly of Neurosis were like a slow thaw.

Adrift doesn't feel like a side hobby. The songs are lush, potent, and heartfelt. They have stories about typical American themes like loss, anger, love, and redemption. Wino croons "I wouldn't trade a single day / Because of the storm I found you", on the title track. On "I Don't Care", he echoes his Born Too Late days but sings with the wisdom of a 50 year-old. "Hold On Love" is a stinging repudiation of CEOs, priests, and other authority figures; "D-Bear" is Wino's ode to his close friend and bandmate Kelly.

Adrift is Wino's first acoustic album, but it feels timeless. You get the sense Wino could walk away from metal and become a travelling minstrel. It's beautiful and moving in equal measure.

— Justin M. Norton

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"Hold On Love"

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Amazon (MP3)
Amazon (CD)

Relapse (CD)

All That Is Heavy (CD)

All That Is Heavy (LP, black vinyl)

Wino's official site (LP, colored vinyl)

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