Head here to submit your own review of this album.

You wonder how the initial discussion went. Gruff Rhys, sonic adventurer, driver of blue techno tanks, chronicler of cult car designers and collector of hotel toiletries amongst his many talents, has an idea. That idea being heading to the States following the steps of a distant relative, who himself decided to leave for America two hundred years earlier to seek out the rumoured existence of a Welsh-speaking Native Indian tribe, The Madogwys. Even Rhys himself might raise an eyebrow at this one.

But then we're talking about a man who has form - twenty years of it - for exploring music and art via unconventional and enchanting means and methods. By turns anarchic, charismatic and insanely curious, Rhys also has an ear for sweet songwriting, albeit with a quirk or two, as evidenced throughout a body of original material, collaborations, guest spots and film and literature projects.

The former Super Furry Animals frontman has long used his Pembrokeshire and Gwynedd heritage and upbringing in his work, resulting in Welsh-language albums, a well-documented commitment to celebrating the nation's history and culture, and Separado!, a filmed musical journey through southern Argentina researching his 18th century immigrant ancestors.

It's in the vein of the latter that saw Rhys travel four thousand miles from Snowdonia - the starting point for the alcohol and dream-fuelled mission undertaken by distant relative John Evans' - to the heartlands of the USA; retracing the farmhand's extraordinary trip through Omaha, Missouri, Dakota territories and similar in another 'Investigative Concert Tour'.

Tuning in with a thirty second electronic jingle (presumably the sound of Rhys' spacecraft simultaneously entering US airspace and our brainspace), American Exterior stutters into life with the solid rock of the title track, complete with its Byrds-like harmonies, wailing lead guitar and the portentous: "If only you could journey here / Your visions carry me / to where you were / your dreams will carry me / to when you were."

As with most of Gruff Rhys' music, there's a tidy balance here between the bonkers and the beautiful. If it's not the rollicking country rock of '100 Unread Messages', 'The Whether Or Not' and 'Liberty Is Where We'll Be', it's drum machine and synths meets phaser-heavy rock of 'The Last Conquistador' or scuzzy tribal disco of 'Allweddellau Allweddol'.

Often poignant vocal delivery sits neatly amongst whirring samples, clattering percussion and a tangle of organ and string arrangements, particularly in effect over the downtempo Amen break scuzz of 'The Swamp': "I'm not scared of dying / I'm only scared of making you cry / I'm not one for trying / I'm just a visitor passing you by / I'm just a passenger leaving goodbye."

The Welshman's style of songwriting, in which melodies bounce along on a bed of synth stabs and staccato piano jabs, drives the whole trip forward apace in a unpredictable start-stop motion, which for the most part works. With the longest track on the record lasting just under five minutes and the loose narrative wrapping the album up nicely, American Interior is a tasty offering alright, though occasionally claustrophobic at times owing to dominating drums and liberal use of distortion and fuzz throughout.

Whatever John Evans did actually get up to on his adventure through the Great Plains and beyond, his story has made for a fantastical proposition for Rhys to capture as an Americana-influenced album. That's as well as a book, a film and an app, as is the intention with American Interior

It's another tour de force for Wales' musical explorer-in-chief, packed with the fine tunecraft, psychedelic references and experimental instrumentation we've come to expect from him. Diolch yn fawr Rhys, keep up the great work.

This is the place you'll find reviews from 405 Readers. To join in, head here.