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Amplifier - The Astronaut Dismantles Hal CD (album) cover

THE ASTRONAUT DISMANTLES HAL

Amplifier

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.84 | 50 ratings

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N Ellingworth
4 stars The title of this EP gives the listener a good indication of just how spaced out this recording can be. This is a slightly simpler recording than the début album but their music is still just as powerful on this EP. As with the début all 3 members of the band put in a great performance.

The EP begins with Continuum, which starts with the sound of a feedbacking guitar before moving into a slow atmospheric melody, eventually getting heavier with their effects laden sound dominating proceedings. The ending is again dominated by the sound of a feedbacking guitar.

Into The Space Age starts with a dazzling array of effects before dropping in to a simple and heavy riff, the bass stands out very well in early section. Eventually the effects do return and the vibe of this song is enhanced by their presence.

For Marcia is a very gentle piece by Amplifier's standards, it's very atmospheric and shows off the spacier side of the band's music very well, at times reminiscent of Porcupine Tree this is a real highlight of the EP.

The Brain Room builds up to the heavy riff Everyday Combat with the use of lots of feedback and other effects. During Everyday Combat Amplifier sound similar to what I'd imagine Black Sabbath would sound like through a vast array of effects: propulsive and a bit weird. This song is another of my favourites.

Live Human has one of the most spaced out openings I've heard by Amplifier which gives way to one of Ampilier's heaviest riffs. Going back to spaced out sounds it is hard to believe that Amplifier don't have a keyboardist.

After a brief silence the hidden track at the end of Live Human starts and is completely different to anything else on the EP in that it is totally acoustic, of course there are still plenty of effects used in this song but they are much more subtle. This shows a previously unseen side to Amplifier, I hope they write more songs in this style in the future as it is brilliant.

Overall this is a wonderful EP and would serve as a good introduction to Amplifier as it is more accessible than their début album but still remains faithful to their usual sound. Amplifier's music is far better in a live setting as the power of the songs is better conveyed but this EP is still very good.

N Ellingworth | 4/5 |

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