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Ampledeed - BYOB CD (album) cover

BYOB

Ampledeed

 

Eclectic Prog

3.78 | 30 ratings

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BrufordFreak
4 stars A band inspired by prog rock tradition, Ampledeed are three young men schooled in art schools of California who have an undeniably rich and creative connection. While this album, their second, shows tremendous growth it also shows tremendous potential. There is some greatness ahead if these guys choose to continue to work together and hone their skills (especially on the sound/engineerign side). And this "criticism" of a truly wonderful, memorable album!

1. "Triple Cancer Moon" (6:45) opens with the weird sound effects that might accompany a classic Canterbury song but then opens, musically, with some awesome TOE-like Post Rock weave, but then just as quickly shifts with three layers of vocals (two female, LISA VITALE and ALLY TAYLOR, and one male) and several more shifts in tempo and style. Awesome! My favorite section is the third minute with its syncopated band play and the interesting male vocals that preceed the return of the two dialoguing females. At 3:45 we are then treated to the introduction of a must seductive hook in the form of a moving synth arpeggio (not unlike several of Tony BANKS' portamentos on The Lamb Lies Down on Broadaway). Curiously, the sixth minute becomes quite prog-like before it slows down to some very King Crimsonian ending. Amazing opener! (10/10)

2. "My Plane" (3:29) sounds like it could come straight off of an ECHOLYN album. The organ play in the third minute is the highlight for me. (8/10)

3. "You're a Libra . . . and She's a Bitch" (5:42) is very prog symphonic in the CIRRUS BAY vein with awesome faux British vocal (biting sarcasm!), guitar, drums and piano, but the song puts up front and center the band's need to grow in terms of engineering and keyboard/computer sound choices and effects. (8/10)

4. "Garden Gnomes" (4:24) opens like a lost GENESIS song, but then turns out to sound most like BILL GILLIAM's wonderfully melodic, keyboard-led work with CIRRUS BAY. Great electric guitar work from Luis Fiores but one of the weaker, less dynamic constructs on the album. Also, the weakest vocal/lyrical-musical match on the album. Still, these guys have so much potential! (8/10)

5. "Monolithium" (7:10) opens with some Russian-sounding solo classical piano play. Cymbals crash and bass joins in before the male voice(s) join in. Despite the song's slow pace it has a very comfortable, engaging harmonic and melodic construct. At 2:30 the tempo increases in a kind of TOM POWERS way before settling into another pleasant BILL GILLIAM/CIRRUS BAY-like instrumental groove. The little Latin rhythm incorpration at 4:30 is clever (and could go further, IMHO) as is the gradual bridge used to slow the song back down at 5:20. The final minute reminds me a lot of THE PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE. Nice job. Definitely memorable. (9/10)

6. "I Will Not Wait" (3:34) with lead vocals handed off to ALLY TAYLOR sounds very much like a song from a THIEVES' KITCHEN album. Ally's AMY DARBY-like voice is quite impressive; no wonder she has a burgeoning solo career launched and on its rise. (9/10)

7. "On My Mind the Gap for Kids " (1:18) is a nice electric keyboard solo.

8. "Steve Lied" (2:52) sees the band fall back into a little Echolyn-tinged Neo Prog. It's nice. Pleasant. Melodic. Has Interesting vocals and lyrics. But somehow misses. (8/10)

9. "The Space between Your Face" (5:10) is one of my favorites. It reminds me of 2014's FREDDEGREDDE release. Man these guys can sing! Such buttery voices! And I LOVE the HOMUNCULUC RES-like Casiotone-like synthesizer keyboard used on this one. Great piano, bass, and drums weave! Man these guys have talent and potential. (10/10)

The totally funked up Canterbury-oriented, 10. "The Greatest Gatsby" (9:46) is awesome! An instrumental of epic proportions with great work on piano and other keys (bass, too), drums. Great construction, complex but not mind- bendingly so. (9/10).

11. "Muffin Man" (6:59) sounds like it is intended to be a tribute to America's only other true Canterbury band, The Muffins. The song has VINCE GURALDI-like chord progressions and nice vocals and drum work--and even some special effects worked into the song (beneath Luis's nice HACKETT-esque guitar solo in the sixth minute)--giving it a kind of GENESIS feel to it, before it returns to solo piano chord play for the final 45 seconds (which lends further confirmation to my notion that the true leader and backbone of this band is its keyboard player, AARON GOLDICH). A song that really grows on you. (9/10)

I like the complex weaves the multi-instruments create throughout the album and I especially like the diverse approaches to styling the male vocals. I am very excited to follow these talented young musicians as their talent is undeniable. I think that more experience with the sound/engineering side and even more time together will serve these artists very well. The future is incandescent for AMPLEDEED!

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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