A Three-Dimensional Amigo the Devil Record Is on Its Way

Danny Kiranos is Amigo the Devil, and what he started as an acoustic solo project has morphed into a full band of organized anarchy. As a songwriter, he straddles the line between horror and sadness well; there is a uniqueness to the music that we respect.

Kiranos clearly isn’t a folk artist – there are far too many rock and punk elements weaved throughout, and as Amigo the Devil, that mix sets up everything. The music doesn’t fully align with the classic rock sound as there are banjos and country moments inside, as well, but that’s the beauty of Amigo the Devil: you can’t classify the music and you don’t have to. The fact that Danny can play festivals like Riot Fest and Welcome to Rockville and sound the way he does shows the quality of the music. It doesn’t matter what an artist sounds like – what matters is can they tell a story and connect. Yours Until the War is Over is not only Amigo the Devil’s best album, but it’s an easy album of the year contender. It arrives this Friday, February 23.

The storylines on this album are gripping. “Once Upon A Time at Texaco (pt. 1)” shares the story of an armed robbery gone horribly wrong. When the anti-hero shoots the gas station attendant, the listener is stunned. It happens fast, but the imagery painted is so vivid. The entire song – start to finish – could inspire a Quentin Tarantino film.

“I’m Going To Heaven” tells of a man hellbent on revenge that he makes a deal with the devil, and the backing choir here makes the track emulate a Clint Eastwood western. As the song fades away it’s realized that the entire story was just a ketamine-fueled manic episode. There are more somber tracks, too, like “Garden of Leaving” that deals with the pain of losing a newborn child.

Every time Kiranos tells a story, his depiction of action and emotions make the listener really feel like they’re experiencing it in front of their very eyes. The storylines are structured in three acts just like in classic cinema. It takes skill to not only tell a story, but make it feel like an enthralling adventure. The music is three dimensional. 

While Volume 1 (2018) and Born Against (2021) lean more towards the folk sound, Yours Until the War is Over feels more soft rock. There are tracks that primarily feature an acoustic guitar with some additional elements in the back. Now that Amigo the Devil has started to perform live with a full band, those influences have also made their way onto the record. A perfect example of this is the track “Stray Dog.” This feels the most punk and classic rock-driven that Amigo the Devil has ever been; an electric guitar sets a groove while Danny quite literally howls over it. This song accurately captures the energetic chaos of being at an Amigo the Devil show. It has powerful lyrics, doesn’t take itself too seriously, though, and kick-ass instrumentation that builds throughout.

Vocally, Danny does what he does best on Yours Until the War is Over. The main reason why people like myself keep coming back to Amigo the Devil is the abundance of personality. On songs like “One Day At A Time,” the vocals feel like playful sneers – “while you’re floating in a cloud, I’m at Applebees blacking out!” During the aforementioned “Once Upon A Time at Texaco (pt. 1),” he meaningly spits: “The next thing you do decides the version of you that your family will see again.” This record is littered with dozens of examples that illustrate this point, but it is the finale of the album that makes its mark and ends everything on a haunting note.

“Closer” is just Danny talking plainly over a lightly strummed guitar. The fact that he was so charismatic and personable throughout the album makes the last five minutes of plain ‘ol speaking even more unsettling. His words are poetry, and as the music fades out and all that’s left is silence, we can’t help but focus on the last lyrics of the album – “It never ends. Even when it does, it never ends.” Chilling straight to the bone. 

This record is everything that makes being a fan of music so rewarding; it doesn’t define itself as a sole genre. There are many stories and adventures to be had, emotions to be felt. The outro leaves the listener with a feeling that everything might not be okay and that sense of profound realism stays with them. Yours Until the War is Over a crowning achievement of artistry, especially for Amigo the Devil.