Don Caballero - American Don LP
Don Caballero hail from a hell of a place to father a child: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Affectionately known as "the Don," the band make their musical bid without the din of vocals. The Don spawned in the summer of 1991 as drummer Damon Che, bassist Patrick Morris, and guitarist Mike Banfield met and got the petri dish experiment started.
The first record, For Respect (1993), was all dense and menacing bricks of sound that built severe structures as cheerful as the Berlin Wall. That gave way to a second record, Don Caballero 2 (1995), just as solid, yet girding melodies skyscraperly, de-emphasizing denseness in exchange for taking up a large area. "Math rock," a definition for which there is little to no agreement, became an easily recognizable concept and word. The members of Don Caballero sought to avoid those markers and released their third record What Burns Never Returns (1998), where time signatures were harder and harder to follow and form was more confusing.
After redefining their sound in these more protean terms, a hard rock thread still remained that bound all of the band's efforts up to that point. Fourth full-length American Don (2000) marred their relationship to "heavy" as much as What Burns Never Returns troubled the band's relationship to "math rock."