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Tristan Mulders
4 stars Amplifier - Amplifier

Amplifier is what you get when you mix haunting vocals, brilliant melodies, a lot of noise and effects and great rhythmic together; and surprisingly. it works for me!

This album is really one of a kind. The music is build up in layers and each time I listen to it I recognize different things that I previously didn't hear. It's a continuous journey through a brilliant dark musical landscape.

What amazes me most is the lack of keyboards. Sure a prog band needs to have a keyboardist, at least that's standard. But the lack of keyboard isn't a problem with this band, since they use all kinds of effects on the guitar which creates this weird soundscape, weird but beautiful at the same time.

Just get this album and you'll know what I'm going on about, it's quite hard to explain, but I'm sure that this is a band that I'll follow for a while, just to see if they can create a second album that has this type of high quality.

Oh, nice thing to know, the lead and 2nd vocalists of the also Manchester-based band OCEANSIZE, Mike Vennart and Steve Durose, are featured on the songs Panzer and UFOs as backing vocalists.

Report this review (#43177)
Posted Wednesday, August 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Often compared to Oceansize, another group from Manchester. Not without a reason, as both groups play a very guitar driven kind of prog rock. But whereas Oceansize often flirts with post-rock of questionable quality, Amplifier just rock. And they rock in a very classy way. There are couple of space/psychedelic parts resembling the crazier moments of Oceansize's songs but they are delivered with much more taste and restraint. The singer has a very soothing voice and the melodies throughout the album are very catchy and memorable.

This is a great album to make diner to (and that's a compliment!).

Report this review (#72991)
Posted Friday, March 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I found this a suprising album. Not quite what I expected.

The opening tracks, Motorhead, Airborne and Panzer were heavier than I was expecting given the "spacerock" billing, but then having listed to the consultancy already it was not a complete suprise. Having said that Motorhead & Panzer as titles didn't exactly leave me expecting The Lark Ascending

So, after the opening, where are we? Enjoying a polished heavy sound which reminded me of Soundgarden. Old Movies begins and suddenly you are forced to realize that there is a lot more going on here. This is no metal band: and you get one of those joys that prog delivers more than any other genre: the "this is different" feeling, that "boy I really like this, I can't quite pin it down to a sound I already know" feeling. Post Acid maintained the challenge.

I reckon Old Movies would be a better track to have on the stream

Half-Life is a bit to cliched rock for me. I can imagine it being a live favourite. It's timing and tight stops are interesting but hvaing followed Kings X (who have really impressed me live --- that sounds so pompous, as if my view mattered, but hey, it's people like me that buy this stuff). Prog Order is restored with Neon, vocals, lyrics, thoughtful control of crescendo and soundscape take this beyond metal.

On/Off is a slow sentimental track, slow and has the obligatory metal build up at the end: sort of disappointing. Then the Consultancy: you can hear this on the Stream: opens like Queensryche, Soundgardens you: but then there is that clear understated vocal (love the mix): sufficiently different. To be honest the stream of this song is the reason I bought the album, so open doors are being pushed here: make your own mind up.

Drawing No 2 is an epic of symphonic jazz funk fusion transcending the boundaries of prog as we know it: nah it's a couple of minutes of odd sounds: Toni Iommi would be very proud.

One Great Summer is (oh cringe here it comes) one great's my favourite on the album (Old Movies is a close second)... Sometimes with prog I think we can disappear so far up our own backsides that we are contemplating our navels from the inside. Here's a lovely sweep of a song with thoughtful lyrics and just the right amount of threatening growling guitar to keep it real.

UFOs returns to a more technically classically prog format: slightly more experimental, a tad of haunt, and more than a smidgeon of sci-fi. A song which mentions rainbows and Ronnie James Dio isn't in sight.

Now, having said all that. I really like this album. It's not Yes/King Crimson/Genesis or Pink Floyd but it's not 1970-77. Hindsight is 20/20. For me it's not Rush or Caravan or Hatfield or Ozric or Tull but it seems to me that this is an album you must have in your collection because like Hidria Spacefolk it crystallizes a type of music that is emerging at the moment.

Report this review (#95873)
Posted Thursday, October 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars I got that band after hearing so many positive things about them. LastFM recommended them as nearest related band for OCEANSIZE and other Alternative Prog. Some friends of mine claimed that they even better. Maybe I’ve begun with wrong album?

Anyway, AMP’s debut is nothing close to OCEANSIZE (except for some ‘Sizers’ back-vocals in two tracks and the fact that these bands both hail from Manchester). In fact, it’s not Prog (IMHO), it’s pretty simple groovy stoner-like Alternative Rock a-la…it’s hard to tell really, so many bands play the same stuff!!! All songs sound as if they were taken directly from jams, mainly one-riff- based, all in 4/4 (except for pre-last track), all pretty long for what they can offer, without much reason (maybe to strength the Psychedelic Effect?). In two words, take Steve Wilson and force him to sing in an average alternative trio. Besides they heavily use overdubbing additional tracks, and I doubt they’d be able to recreate their studio sound at live shows. After all, nothing terrible, pretty listenable, but I won’t recommend that band to those who believe they’re gonna be the same way awesome as PORCUPINE TREE, DREDG or OCEANSIZE - you’ll be disappointed as much as me.

Report this review (#146786)
Posted Wednesday, October 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Houston, we have a problem: this doesn't look like Space

Amplifier self-titled debut is a good, solid hard-prog album, but I must say that it doesn't really sound like a Psychedelic/Space-Rock album. The only thing space-related on this album is the theme of some songs, which doesn't really reflect on the music. The sound is actually quite metalish, mostly made of loud distorted guitar riffs and fierce drumming, contrasting with the vocals, which are far from aggressive. The pace of the playing is rather slow. The artwork was left in charge of guitar and vocals- man Sel Balamir. It is quite minimalist (as is the information on the CD), and despite being filled with photos (not a single letter in the booklet), these are not very appealing.

Amplifier has very few exciting moments, despite the strong energy of the songs. These often sound like variations on the same slow-beginning/crescendo/strong-ending song structure, which makes most tracks sound alike. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, in Amplifier's case it is a bit of a let down - to the regular progger it might appear a bit simplistic, dull or simply bland. In my case, however, the album does just enough to avoid provoking indifference (the greatest proof, to me, that an album has really failed) - there are some great tunes in here. The first three tracks, Motorhead, Airborne and Panzer, are a typical example of the band's sound. Heavy guitars and sound-effects generated by. guitars. This is one of the plusses of the album, the editing and production. Amplifier explore their instruments to the limit, opening doors to some very interesting sonic experiments.

Songs like Old Movies, Post Acid Youth and Half Life are slightly different in the way they try to escape the same structure, either being softer, more mellow tracks, or funkier, more uplifting approaches. Both Drawing Nº1 and Drawing Nº2 are pure filler to me: just apparently random noises. If these tracks are supposed to serve some concept, then I must have missed; if the band's classification is based on this, then there is something wrong with the genre. Even though they segue into the songs that follow, Neon and One Great Summer, therefore serving as some sort of introduction, they are easily forgotten and a simple waste of space. The aforementioned tracks, however, are quite the opposite: two highlights. Neon actually opens a great second half to this album. It is a good aggressive rocker followed by On/Off, one of the most remarkable power-ballads I've heard, with its delicate beginning followed by a good crescendo and a bombastic ending. Apart from Drawing Nº2, The Consultancy is the weakest link on this second half, but it is still as good as anything on the first. Drawing Nº2 opens for one great song: One Great Summer is probably the finest track in the entire album, an uplifting song with soft build-up and a powerful and emotional chorus. The album ends on a high note with UFOs, one of the longer pieces at 7:30, and one of the most deserving of the "space- rock" tag., for more than just the lyrics. It is the most accomplished piece on the album, musically speaking, with great spacey ambience conveyed by the echoing guitar work and the soundscapes in the background, and featuring some great vocals and harmonies.

As a whole, this album has some great songs, but the remaining are just innocuous, either because they are less-than-brilliant takes on the same slow-beginning/crescendo/strong-ending general song structure, or simply because they're borderline filler (something totally uncalled for on an album this length). I can't really comment on the comparison with Oceansize, as I am unfamiliar with that band. Regarding the comparison to Porcupine Tree, I can say that it quite misses the target: Amplifier is harder-sounding without being Metal, harder to grab the listener's attention and therefore perhaps harder to enjoy. After several listens, it hasn't clicked as well as I would expect. It is an album I will seldom listen, if only for great songs like Panzer, Neon, On/Off and the two final tracks.

Report this review (#160780)
Posted Monday, February 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars A great debut album! Surprisingly this album appears to be more intersting that it seems at the first listening. I mean the first time I listened to it I thought yes good, different but I'll loose interst Well it proved me wrong! good riffs, melodies, lyrics, sound, the highlights of the album are one great summer, old movies and motorhead, my favourite songs in that order at least.
Report this review (#168383)
Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars This heavy rock debut, clearly inspired in Oceansize alternative rock, captures some of Tool's darkness and Porcupine Tree's melancholia, retaining a certain post-grunge feel. The 3 element work (guitar, bass and drums) is guided mainly by dense guitar, oscillating from distorted and psychedelic spacey passages to heavy memorable riffs. By opposite, vocalist timber is very sooth and melodic, creating a modern effective contrast like in Porcupine Tree. Globally effective, in its simplicity reaches to be a sophisticated and intriguing work, while being energetic enough to appeal to the most vibrating rock fans.

7/10 (good)

Report this review (#172336)
Posted Tuesday, May 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
5 stars It doesn't get much better than this for my musical tastes. Heavy, melodic, powerful and dark.This is a trio ? And i thought RUSH could make a lot of noise for a trio. I have had their EP "The Astronaut Dismantles Hal" for some time now and enjoy it a lot, but this absolutely blows it out of the water with the sheer intensity and wall of sound they create. It does bring to mind some of the nineties alternative bands i used to listen to as well.

"Motorhead" opens with some scorching feedback as drums come pounding in followed by powerful doom-like wall of sound. When vocals come in the sound lightens. Check out the drumming when he's singing. It gets so heavy and chaotic 5 minutes in. "Airborne" is dark with some atmosphere. Drums arrive after a minute. The guitar starts to light it up. Vocals 2 1/2 minutes in. Love when he sings "It's time to fly" after 4 1/2 minutes, very powerful. The drumming is incredible. It's hard to believe, but it kicks into an even higher gear 6 minutes in. My God ! Talk about being overwelmed. Awesome tune. "Panzer" offers up to us more punishingly heavy music. Vocals are aggressive and emotional. Thunderous bass before 4 minutes followed by the best part of the song after 5 minutes when the guitar starts to rip it up.

"Old Movies" is slower to begin with as drums and guitar that echo create a lot of atmosphere. Vocals a minute in. It kicks in before 2 1/2 minutes. Killer sound ! This contrast continues. "Post Acid Youth" opens with some nice deep bass as drums slowly pound, and a soundscape is created by the guitar. A very alternative sounding tune. I like it ! "Neon" opens with a simple guitar line as it becomes fuller sounding rather quickly. A calm when the vocals come in. This contrast continues. "On / Off" opens with a gentle guitar melody as light drums join in. Reserved vocals follow. The chorus is so uplifting. They turn up the power before 4 minutes. Nice. The rest of the song is fantastic. Blistering guitar 5 1/2 minutes in. "The Consultancy" has such an amazing sound to it. The drumming is great. "One Great Summer" may be my favourite. There are so many good songs though. One and a half minutes in the song becomes so crushing and moving. "UFOs" is very dark to open. Tons of atmosphere. Vocals before 2 minutes. What a change before 2 1/2 minutes as it brightens and breaks me. It happens again a minute later. Love the mood 4 1/2 minutes in that is similar to the intro. A minute later a wall of guitar hits us hard. Another dark atmosphere follows.

This sounds so good turned up really loud. I'm not surprised with all the high praises throughout the music world that I read in the bio here at ProgArchives after hearing this for myself.

Report this review (#172830)
Posted Monday, June 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Amplifier - 'Amplifier' 2 stars


At least with this album, I see no progressive tendencies so far with this band. The songs might be longer than normal rock standards, but they get their idea across in each song just as shortly, or even shorter. The psychedelic/space rock tag is also completely wrong, as this seems to be alternative metal, sometimes, just plain metal.

The one band to compare Amplifier to would be fellow hometown musicians Oceansize, who even make an appearance on backing vocals on this album. They share some similarities in sound, but I find Oceansize to be the praised older brother, while Amplifier is the reject of the family. Oceansize seems to be hitting all the right buttons to eventually become a promising act next decade while Amplifier is just regressing into oblivion.

This album doesn't have many original things going for it. A seasoned listener can hear lots of riffs that have been heard before, and a too similar vibe from the already mentioned Oceansize, Porcupine Tree, Dredg and dare I say some 90's Metallica.

The songs have littler variation of them; a track-by-track analysis would be completely ludicrous. The basis of the songs seems to be guitar oriented jams that just stay repetitive and then are polished with many overdubs. There is also little do discover upon multiple listens.

This is not something a listener will look forward too after hearing some of the brilliant alternative prog bands like Oceansize, Dredg and Mew. Dredg seems to be the band that really captured a real artistic form with their album 'El Cielo' and Oceansize continues to push the right buttons with their latest 'Frames' to be truly outstanding. Amplifier's debut was a struggle to create anything that can be considered new, but regressive to just common alternative music, maybe some dated 80's-90's metal and even the blackest depths of grunge music. Not recommended to anyone unless they just want some simple alternative music in their library.

Report this review (#179266)
Posted Saturday, August 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars I totally love this. It absolutely rocks but whilst also taking you into space at the same time, and not many bands can achieve this.

This is their best effort so far (although don't get me wrong - I DO really like HAL and Insider). I did own HAL and Insider before this, and I got this as an afterthought to complete my collection as it were. But what an afterthought! I can totally rock out to this (when you in that sort of mood). There's a lot of very heavy stuff on this - but so so so much better than a lot of metal these days that is totally taken over with growling vocals and hideous machine-gun style double bass pedalling - it's so good to hear metal with that taken out - it's so much better.

Then mix in SPACE - Sel Balamir uses his talent in creating other-worldly sounds with the guitar to his very best in this album, and where it seems a little broken up on Insider on this album it fuses beautifully and extends into the heavy stuff with brilliant continuance. This is particularly so on the brilliant tracks Airborne (this track has an amazing intense ending), Old Movies, Post Acid Youth, One Great Summer, UFO's and Glory Electricity (on the bonus disc but actually includes a solo from normally a rhythm dominated sound). All the tracks are excellent - I wouldn't rate any less than 8 out of 10 - whilst 6 or 7 of the tracks I would rate as 9 or 10 out of ten.

(PS - Good decision to relegate Half Life to the bonus material on the SPV version, this was definitely the worst track, whilst on the other hand Glory Electricity is superb - one of the best b-sides ever!)

And the melodies... wow - they are lush, and mixed with a really nice voice - mixed in with the heavyweight sound and immensely good riffs lead to a tremendous mix of power and beauty.

They make a lot of noise for a three-piece (remember Rush?)

CAREFUL! Classic prog lovers may not like this - it doesn't have 10 minute+ tracks or lengthy synthesisor pieces or straight guitar solos (although Sel's superb riffs - including lovely lead riffs that he should always use - make up for that). Sure, it's not Prog in the classic sense of the word - but isn't space rock always like that? Yes, this is more rock and roll, but who cares - let yourself go!

However, if you like it heavy, melodic (and hate growling vocals and nasty over-the-top double bass pedalling), and if you like recent Porcupine Tree, Oceansize etc - Then this is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

I think they are a cornerstone of how modern heavy SPACE ROCK should sound - with the track UFO's leading the way. ( PS - Please more tracks like the hidden Scarecrows on the HAL EP.)

This rocks! Superb! I can't wait til the release of The Octopus! I sincerely hope they build further on this sound

I have thought long and hard about the rating - I have decided that this is a masterpiece of modern heavy space rock and a pig-headed push against the norm of Indie and classic Prog but the same influenced by both. It's not a masterpiece of Classic Prog, but it's so good I cannot help but give it maximum points.

Report this review (#196729)
Posted Thursday, January 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars So this band is compared to Oceansize? That is true to a certain extent, but it's kind of an improper reference. If there are similarities with Oceansize, it's because both bands are influenced by the same early 90's generation of rock bands.

Amplifier takes influences from the US alternative rock gods Sonic Youth, Jane's Addiction and Alice In Chains, as well as from the UK Manchester psychedelic scene from the same period (Jesus & Mary Chain, Catherine Wheel, Loop). Not exactly references that shout Prog, but still, these UK bands breathe Kraut-rock and I've always thought Jane's Addiction was vintage progressive rock from the second I heard Three Days!

I must not forget to thank Sinkadotentree for guiding me to this band. Their energetic and spacey rock works so much better for me then Oceansize. I wouldn't say they are better then that band, but Amplifier's catchy grunge-rock and the warm power of Sel Balamir's vocals simply makes a much stronger impact on me. On top of that, there aren't any hiccups in the songwriting. Every track adds nicely to a varied and uniformly solid release.

Highly recommended for rock fans, certainly if you're curious how an acid rock flavoured version of Alice In Chains fronted by an English vocalist would sound like.

Report this review (#279968)
Posted Friday, April 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars This album is slightly reminiscent of the more recent output of porcupine tree; walking that thin line between prog metal and heavy prog, with the majority of the songs clocking in a six minutes or more, and each track displaying a decent level of internal variation. That is to say, this band is unafraid to interweave heavier guitar-led passages that hit with a doom-laden crunch, with passages of lighter melodies. The singer even sounds a little like Steven Wilson, backed up by suitably talented musicians.

That said, judging between songs, there seems to be a lack of that much diversity; there is little to mark the identity of one song from another. Forgivable, perhaps, in a concept album such as this, but the lack of any standout tracks leaves one feeling that listening to this album (which sprawls out over 2 discs lasting 2 hours) is a somewhat forgettable experience.

There is very little to criticise this album for. Each track is more than competently played, and progressive, but, after a handful of listens, I can't help but be left with the rather unsettling thought that this was the aim the musicians had in mind: to make an album with which nothing was wrong, rather than to take risks to create an album that was right.

Sadly, then, I feel that this is somewhat prog-by-numbers. A talented band, which, ultimately, leaves me cold and unenthused.

1.5/5, rounded up to 2

Report this review (#457502)
Posted Sunday, June 5, 2011 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars I've heard about many comparisons made about this band: mainly OCEANSIZE and PORCUPINE TREE. What I hear in the first tracks is a connection with the Dutch 35007, instead. The heavy distorted guitar is very similar to the sound of the Dutch heavy-psych band.

The crescendo of noise on "Motorhead" is very similar to the 35007's "Tsunami", given tha main difference the fact that this song has lyrics, and when they sing they can effectively remind a bit to PT or even other heavy-prog bands.

Also "Airborne" reminds me to 35007, again the album "Liquid". This track is even more similar to "Tsunami" than the previous. It's likely a coincidence due to the fact that both the bands are making heavy psychedelic music, but listening to this song I can easily confuse Amplifier with 35007, at least until they sing as the voices are quite different, surely less Dutch...

"Panzer" has lyrics and is more similar to the debut EP of 35007. I have to say that both Amplifier and 35007 have some of Ozric Tentacles in the instrumentals.

"Old Movies" is the first non heavy song with guitar harping, slow drums and some loops. When the distorted guitar enters in the chorus they remind a bit to Porcupine Tree. However any reference is just to describe the music, the band is original enough and this is a very good song.

"Post Acid Youth" is opened by a bass solo. I remember an old Joy Division's song with similar sounds. This song has a little flavor of new wave, but I can't remove 35007 from my mind.

"Half Life" starts with a sequence of chords reminding to Beatles, just more distorted, but this song doesn't sound like anything else. It's rock, they are not inventing a new genre, but I can't think to any other artist to relate to this song. It's a good rock song coming from the past with new fresh sounds applied.

"Drawing No1" can seem Floydian but, again, listen to 35007's Liquid to find something very similar.

"Neon" is opened by a U2 like guitar and drums. Luckily they change quickly. I don't like U2 at all (I'm probably one of the few, I don't know). This song is quite dark, imagine Radiohead playing with the singer of Coldplay (for the falsetto), but paying attention to the instrumental part only will show you that it's not effectively so different from the other tracks of this album.

"On/Off" is the most Porcupine Tree song of the album in terms of vocals, but the obsessive guitar behind, even though on major chords has a Krautrock flavor.

Heavy sounds are back with "The Consultancy". In this song I see echoes of Beatles of the psychedelic period. One of the best album's tracks, very energetic.

Probably on every psychedelic album there has to be at least one song that sounds "Floydian". "Drawing No2" is the one. Bass and keyboards to setup a relaxing ambient, then sliding guitar and drums, finally some dissonant noise of a "saucerful Of Secrets" type and the gapless transition to the following track "One Great Summer". This is a song that could remind even to Mostly Autumn as well as to bands like Phideaux. I had several impressions from this song, even Hogarth's Marillion.

"UFOs" is a good closer. Psychedelic and spacey based on bass harmonics.

The overall impression is that this band pays more attention to the compositions respect to the often mentioned 35007. Their work is made more of "songs" than of "jams". This is a very promising debut, not totally psychedelic, maybe but full of good music in any case. Having rated Liquid with 4 stars I can't rate this one less. Looking forward to their more recent works.

Report this review (#528623)
Posted Wednesday, September 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars This trio have been kicking up a storm in musical circles, coming across as Queens Of the Stone Age having an argument with Radiohead with Muse as referees. They have such an awesome sound which has been captured by Chris Sheldon (Foo Fighters, Feeder), so that it possible to play this at the volume it deserves. Any band that is prepared to open with song called "Motorhead" (no, not THAT song) knows that they are opening themselves for a critical pasting. The only they get away with it is by producing a distorted riff heavy slab of metal that says "come here, this is us, enjoy". They aren't afraid to mix and move, bringing in different styles in a way that Radiohead are happy to employ, but not with this sheer hard rock intensity.

To have these guys share a bill with Muse would surely be a match made in heaven, two trios both out to prove that rock and be extremely heavy yet exciting and very different to the norm at the same time. Sel's vocals are much more 'normal' than Mr Bellamy's, which does possibly give this band an edge when it comes to being accepted by the rock crowd. There is an intensity within this music, a passion that is almost frightening. Amplifier are here to mean business, with a debut album that is certainly going to get them noticed. They have already been touring with bands as diverse as Gary Numan and Deftones, and have just been out with Auf Der Maur. This is experimental metal for the modern age, and along with Funeral For A Friend they are showing that modern bands can produce great debuts in the UK.

Originally appeared in Feedback #79, May 2004

Report this review (#1048401)
Posted Monday, September 30, 2013 | Review Permalink
The Crow
4 stars One fact is clear about Amplifier... I think they are a love it or hate it band!

From the noisy, alternative and stoner atmosphere to truly space-rock moments, Amplifier are not the typical prog rock band. So, if you are seeking for some conventional progressions and instrumental flourishes, you are in the wrong direction.

The album opens with the incredible Motorhead, a blast of a track with powerful guitar, serious vocals and tons of ambiences disguised as a simplistic song. Wow! And surprisingly Airborne is even better with its sampled guitars and powerful bass lines. Is a song which grows and grows to an intense and catchy ending. At first listening it's a shock, but after a few plays you will not able to take this music out of your mind. The riff after minute 06:00 is pure magic!

Panzer does not give truce with even more power which takes the album close to stoner metal. And that's not a problem to me, because after progressive rock stoner is my favorite genre. What a blast! Old Movies has a beautiful beginning with hypnotic guitars, followed by the mellow voice of Belamir. The voice of this man is maybe not spectacular, but he sings in a deep, mellow tone which makes the music of Amplifier very nice to be heard despite the amount of noise that they sometimes make. And Old Movies is a good example. I love the guitars about 02:30!

Post Acid Youth has a strong bass at the beginning and a marvelous vocal melody, followed by another amount of hypnotic guitars and spacey ambients, with some strong distortion here on there. Definitely, it's nothing like Amplifier in the scene of music. Take it or leave it! At 03:35, we can hear a crazy rhythm with cool guitar effects followed by convoluted guitar riffs and space rock keyboards. And don't ask me how, it magically works!

Neon is bit more conventional, with guitar riffs which maybe could bring some post-grunge bands to mind. But this feeling soon disappears when a cool bass is introduced making the track sound like something new again. In this little details is where Amplifier really shines, and if you are not a thorough listener you can easily pass over them. On/Off starts again in a mellow semi-acoustic way which could bring even bands like Pearl Jam to mind and this time the song keeps this way, contributing to a very welcomed alternative variety to the album, till the song grows again around the minute 4 returning the omnipresent distortion, powerful drums and a curious falsetto from Belamir.

The Consultancy starts with a curious and piercing riff, which transform itself in the verses in a great rhythm for one of the most punk and direct songs of the album, with even some pop elements towards the end! It's also one of the shortest. And after that comes One Great Summer, my personal favorite of this album together with UFO's which is an hymn to positivism, self-confidence and the power of will. Just a perfect song for bad moments with a very well-crafted instrumental interlude!

And finally, UFO's closes this great album with a pure space-rock song with a truly beautiful guitar work and an incredible psychedelic ending with an astonishing instrumental passage which lead to one of the most intense vocal sections of the album at minute 06:00. Marvelous!

Conclusion: Amplifier is one hell of an album. Intense, extremely well written and with a bunch of really incredible songs. If you are into this kind of alternative-stoner-space-psychedelic rock you must hear this band!

They are one of the most underrated and criminally ignored bands of the last decade, and in their first and excellent album they managed to sound mature, consolidated and truly innovative.

Best tracks: Motorhead, Airborne, Panzer, One Great Summer, UFO's.

My rating: ****

Report this review (#1946532)
Posted Sunday, July 8, 2018 | Review Permalink

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