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AMPLIFIER

Psychedelic/Space Rock • United Kingdom


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Amplifier biography
AMPLIFIER is a Manchester based space rock band. This three-piece makes extraordinary music which is quite similar to the, also Manchester based, band OCEANSIZE. The band consists of Sel Balamir who plays guitar and is also the band's lead-vocalist. Than there's Matt Brobin, who is the band's drummer. Last, but not least, there's Neil Mahony who is the bassist. As you can see there's no keyboardist on board, so all the weird sounds and effects are played on the guitar, hence the name "AMPLIFIER".

For their 2004's selftitled debut album the band worked together with Steve Lyon to produce the album (he also worked with bands like THE CURE and DEPECHE MODE) and Chris Seldon for mixing it (also known for producing OCEANSIZE's "Effloresce" album and mixing music by THE FOO FIGHTERS).

Their music is highly original. They combine deep personal lyrics with walls of noise, combined with stunning melodies.

This band has been hailed a lot in the media. Kerrang! Magazine said this was ".the British rock-scene altering record" when talking about their selftitled debutalbum. Metal Hammer said they were ".the future of rock." and even Q magazine said that ".at present British rock doesn't get much better than this."

AMPLIFIER: the biggest three piece in the world!



Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
This is highly original space rock. They mix a lot of different genres (I can hear Krautrock (a bit like Neu!) and Pink Floyd influences in their music) and combine them perfectly



Discography:
The Consultancy, Single (2003)
Neon, Single (2004)
Amplifier, Studioalbum (2004)

Amplifier official website

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Buy AMPLIFIER Music


Echo Street (Hard Book Edition)Echo Street (Hard Book Edition)
Special Edition
KSCOPE 2013
Audio CD$9.40
$6.55 (used)
OctopusOctopus
Import
Ampcorp.Industries 2011
Audio CD$9.78
$8.39 (used)
InsiderInsider
Import
Steamhammer Europe 2010
Audio CD$6.94
$5.40 (used)
AmplifierAmplifier
Import
Steamhammer Europe 2010
Audio CD$13.11
$18.79 (used)
The Astronaut Dismantles HALThe Astronaut Dismantles HAL
Import
2005
Audio CD$9.99
$8.56 (used)
The Octopus Import Edition by Amplifier (2009) Audio CDThe Octopus Import Edition by Amplifier (2009) Audio CD
Ampcorp.Industries
Audio CD$36.16
Insider/Astronaut Dismantles HalInsider/Astronaut Dismantles Hal
Import
2009
Audio CD$39.98
$39.98 (used)
Echo Street by Amplifier (2013) Audio CDEcho Street by Amplifier (2013) Audio CD
Kscope
Audio CD$47.28
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More places to buy AMPLIFIER music online Buy AMPLIFIER & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for AMPLIFIER DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

AMPLIFIER shows & tickets


  • Beyond the Redshift on 10 May 2014
  • Graspop Metal Meeting 2014 on 27 Jun 2014

AMPLIFIER discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

AMPLIFIER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.68 | 110 ratings
Amplifier
2004
3.52 | 84 ratings
Insider
2006
4.03 | 365 ratings
The Octopus
2011
3.88 | 163 ratings
Echo Street
2013

AMPLIFIER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
Live In Barcelona 2013
2013

AMPLIFIER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

AMPLIFIER Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

AMPLIFIER Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.75 | 8 ratings
The Consultancy
2003
3.29 | 7 ratings
Neon
2004
3.84 | 49 ratings
The Astronaut Dismantles Hal
2005
4.53 | 42 ratings
Eternity
2009
3.56 | 33 ratings
Fractal EP
2011
2.00 | 1 ratings
Silvio
2012
3.22 | 9 ratings
Sunriders
2013

AMPLIFIER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Echo Street by AMPLIFIER album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.88 | 163 ratings

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Echo Street
Amplifier Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by ergaster

3 stars 3.5/5

Amplifier is a band I have always found mildly frustrating, because their intricate space-prog sound is one that I feel I should like...but I seem to have difficulty doing so. I tended to love a few selected tracks over their discography, but could never manage to get through entire albums. Indeed, with the exception of about three tracks, I find The Octopus pretty much unlistenable.

Echo Street turned out to be a pleasant surprise; it is much more to my taste than earlier albums. Perhaps the addition of the two former Oceansize guys on bass and guitar has influenced this, but I find the new album more purely song-driven than earlier albums, beautifully melodic with a great mix of acoustic guitar and nicely dense and heavy electric. The epic track "Extra Vehicular" kicks major ass. The outstanding feature for me though, besides the beautifully structured songs, is the vocal work: Sel Balamir has a lovely, soothing voice, and the harmonies in "Between Today and Yesterday" are outstanding. Echo Street is probably my Number 1 singalong album.

Alas for all its qualities, the album simply did not have staying power. I played it a ton when I first got it, it really hooked me, but after a couple of months of heavy rotation, the interest in it wore off. As well, the last two tracks are not as strong as the rest and the album does peter out with rather a whimper. I still like it better than any of the other Amplifier efforts, but it is not an album I will return to very often, and then only to play a few selected tracks. So I guess Amplifier continues to be a band I find mildly frustrating?.

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 Sunriders by AMPLIFIER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2013
3.22 | 9 ratings

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Sunriders
Amplifier Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by LakeGlade12

3 stars 3.3 Stars. Spaceriders

I have always enjoyed the EP's that Amplifier release. They allow the band to try new things with minimal risk and most of the time their experiments have succeeded. This EP is no exception and has allowed the band to further explore their Space Rock influences and mix things up.

There are 4 songs on this EP with each song being longer (and IMO better) than the previous. "Spaceman" is the least interesting song here and is stereotypical Amplifier in every way. I wouldn't be surprised if this was just a b-side that didn't make the cut for Echo Street.

"Sunriders" is much more interesting and its song structure is notably different from typical Amplifier. There is no regular verse or chorus, but multiple themes that have been stuck together, some of which will repeat themselves over the song in a random manner, others that will occur only once. It takes a bit of time to get used to this type of song as it initially sounds disjointed. However combined with the Space Rock sound it does work.

"Never And Always" follows the same unorthodox structure as Sunriders, except it is even more disjointed and contains more Space Rock. The outcome of this is quite free flowing and care free (while also being unpredictable) which is a pleasure to listen to when one is in the mood for more lucid and unstructured songs.

"Close" is back to the sound that Amplifier were trying to capture on Echo Street. It starts with lots of spacy sound effects and distortion which is typical for the genre. Unlike the other songs on this EP the lyrics are much more focused and have a clear opinion that they want to make about the world. The song finishes with a powerful instrumental and is a great way to "close" the EP.

So we have one boring song, 2 interesting songs (but one outclasses the other IMO) and one great song. So I will give this a solid 3 stars. Its well worth getting the extended version of Echo Street which contains this EP.

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 Amplifier by AMPLIFIER album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.68 | 110 ratings

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Amplifier
Amplifier Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

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

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 Echo Street by AMPLIFIER album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.88 | 163 ratings

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Echo Street
Amplifier Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by LakeGlade12

4 stars 4.0 Stars. Echoes of the space rock past

Echo Street is Amplifier's 4th studio album and their first release with KScope. This album also shows a noticeable change in the band's sound, as it contains significantly more Space Rock. The heavy Alternative Rock sound is still there, but it no longer takes centre stage which should please most people on this site. The title track (which happens to be my favourite song on the album) could be described as pure space rock and is full of distortion and walls of noise that swirl around your head.

Despite the noise of the title-track the overall trend is that the band have toned down the "noisy rock" assault that has up until now been part of their trademark sound. It's not that it has disappeared completely from most songs, but now the listener has to be a bit more patient before things really get going. For example "Matmos" starts incredibly slowly with a minute of drone sounds and then another 4-5 minutes of steady (but enjoyable) build up before they let loose. This may be a problem for some people, but for me it shows a sign of maturity as they have dropped the quick frills and are trying to broaden their horizons.

There are some teething problems to be found with their quieter songs. "Paris in the spring" has some interesting atmospheric sections, but they are poorly joint together which ruins the flow of the song. "Mary Rose" has a similar structure to "Matmos", but the slower section at the beginning has no build-up and so stagnates.

The best written song on Echo Street has to be the 12 min epic "Extra Vehicular" which has excellent flow and all of the sub-sections fit together perfectly. Oh, and the last 3-4 minutes is one long space-metal instrumental that packs one hell of a punch! So they can still rock hard when they want to, but they now know when the time is right.

This is a great all round album and well worth 4 stars. Recommended to all Porcupine Tree fans and those who like Alternative and Space rock. Keep it up!

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 Echo Street by AMPLIFIER album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.88 | 163 ratings

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Echo Street
Amplifier Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Memo_anathemo

4 stars Amplifier have created a wonderful album with "Echo Street", completely different to THE OCTOPUS, which sounds more powerful. Echo Street is more melodic, it contains more progressive elements in the sense of psychedelic or folk sounds. The songs have a lower pace in contrast to The Octopus, but effective, my favorite track is "Mary Rose", which has a wonderful bass line at the beginning along with the voice and then it has a good change of mood. I think this album is one that grows little by little as soon as you listen to it over and over, and definitely you don't get bored with it.

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 The Octopus by AMPLIFIER album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.03 | 365 ratings

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The Octopus
Amplifier Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Memo_anathemo

5 stars Wow, I really have no words to describe the potentiality of this album. It is impressive and powerful all the way around. All the songs have a perfect synchronicity that makes you enjoy the album totally without having the feeling of removing it from your CD player; you will wait for more and more, but don't worry, there's more. After you finish listening to the first album, which is impressive, you just need to change CD and you will have the experience going on with the second part of the album. At the beginning, and especially without knowing what to expect from AMPLIFIER, I thought that maybe two albums were way too much to listen to a band for the first time, but after the opening sequence you immediately have that feeling of: I THINK THIS IS GOING TO BE A VERY GOOD ALBUM TO LISTEN TO, and indeed it is. I don't want to describe song by song because I would kill your expectations with a subjective perspective, I just tell you: Get it and listen to it, it's a must!

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 Echo Street by AMPLIFIER album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.88 | 163 ratings

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Echo Street
Amplifier Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by lukretio

4 stars A band at the top of their game (8.5/10)

Amplifier are at the top of their game, and their new album "Echo Street" shows this very clearly. As the band confessed in press interviews, Echo Street is primarily an album born out of necessity. With the planned follow-up to The Octopus, Mystoria, being still in the making and a long way from being ready for release, and with their finances wearing thin, in 2012 the band realized they needed a new album out. Soon. So in just about 2 months, they wrote and recorded "Echo Street", which was then quickly released on Kscope in early 2013. With such premises, I have to admit that I was somewhat skeptical when I ordered my copy of Echo Street.

How wrong was I. Echo Street is a fantastic record. The music is typical Amplifier: pulsating basses and effected guitars conjure to create dream-like, spacey textures for the delicate, never banal, melodies sung by Sel Balamir's distinctive voice. The first three songs are a great demonstration of Amplifier's unique brand of dark yet lively space rock. But there are surprises too, like the mellower ballad "Where the River Goes" (but watch out for the interstellar instrumental crescendo in the middle of the song), or the acoustic "Between Today and Yesterday", which hints to early 70s pastoral folk. Despite the limited span of time that the band has devoted to the writing of this album, it's difficult to find a weak spot: all songs are excellent, have a great structure, a great sound, and great melodies. I truly enjoy the album from start to finish."Paris in the Spring" is perhaps the only piece that fails to impress as much as the other songs do.

Overall, I highly recommend this album. If you are already an Amplifier fan , this album won't disappoint you. While the moods and atmospheres may be different and perhaps lighter than those on "The Octopus", "Echo Street" is a collection of great, 100% Amplifier tunes. If you have never heard of Amplifier, then I would recommend this too, as a good place to start to get to know the band. The spontaneity and diversity of the songs on "Echo Street" constitutes an excellent showcase of the band's talent and breadth.

***** songs: Extra Vehicular, Matmos; **** songs: The Wheel, Between Today & Yesterday, Echo Street, Mary Rose, Where the River Goes; *** songs: Paris In The Spring

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 The Octopus by AMPLIFIER album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.03 | 365 ratings

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The Octopus
Amplifier Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Amplifier's The Octopus offers a two-album brace of space rock in the Floydian tradition blended seamlessly with more modern alternative rock influences, a seam of post-rock, and maybe a teeny tiny pinch of Genesis and Ozric Tentacles here and there. The band's debt to Pink Floyd is occasionally a leeeeeettle bit overplayed - the opening intro section lifts just a little bit from Dark Side of the Moon and the eagle-eared will pick up some lyrical references here and there - but they're still appreciably more fresh and original than your typical Pink-Floyd-and- alt-rock band like Anathema or something. This one didn't get the attention it deserved when it slipped out a couple of years ago, but hopefully that will change in the long run.

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 Echo Street by AMPLIFIER album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.88 | 163 ratings

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Echo Street
Amplifier Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by obiter
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Still the old hackneyed label of the most under-rated band in the UK. This is a return to the best of the early albums. Having said that this is definitely a "floats your boat" album. It either does or it doesn't. Mine's planing on a tsunami. This is exactly what I want from a prog album. It's now one of my DIDs (Desert Island Disks).

So the real question: what is it like? (I can't write that without thinking of the Blackadder spanish infanta: "But, what does he like"). Is this classic unmistakable Amplifier?: yes.

Well the next obvious question is: "If I haven't listened to Amplifier before what does it sound like: what am i getting myself in for?" OK, no band likes being compared to another but it's a review so I'll indulge you.

Right we have smatterings of Porcupine Tree (without the miserable "music to slash your wrists to vibe"), a sprinkling of Kings X in their Out of the Silent Planet/Gretchen/Faith Hope Love prime; and a hint of piquant Oceansize. But these are merely

Matmos is typical Amplifier, but the The Wheel is simply majestic. Layer upon layer: test your hi- fi: but not over produced.If I had a criticism it would be that the guitar tone lacks a harsher bite.

Extra Vehicular fades in, clean separated elements: guitar arpeggios, bass, drums. Maybe the bass is a bit too flabby & rounded. I liked the character of the Warwick that came through on the earlier albums.

I love the guitar tone throughout the album. it's clear that there has been considerable personal tweaking to get it just so. The acoustic has a lovely tone, it's not Andy McKee but hey.

Where the river Goes' vocals will instantly chime with Kings X fans

****** The Album cover

the first prog album I bought was Yes Songs the only reason I bought it was that it was a triple fold out and the album art was cool. Took it home & loved the music. For me that's always been a part of the prog scene. The slow demise of LPs has cut down that sense of pop art in your hands as you listen to prog but Echo Street is a marvellous piece of kit to own: it's a small hardback book. **** So a fab album to add to the collection. I think this is an important album as it helps define Brit prog at the time of PT's demise.

If spacerock is your bag this is an excellent must have. Otherwise it's good but not essential.

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 Fractal EP by AMPLIFIER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
3.56 | 33 ratings

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Fractal EP
Amplifier Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Any Colour You Like
Prog Reviewer

3 stars British psych-rockers Amplifier are one of the most promising artists emerging in the modern experimental rock scene. Their mixture of space rock and psychedelic meanderings evoke images of any manner of fellow British contemporaries including Oceansize, Porcupine Tree, Ozric Tentacles and Radiohead.

Fractal EP consists of four extended improvised tracks that remained after the production of their previous album, Octopus. The tracks have that essential quality of improvisation - fluidity. They traverse naturally from effects-drenched jams into seemingly more coherent and quasi-structured compositions. As natural with improvisation, it can get a little bit confused, but the beauty of Fractal, is that such psychedelic meanderings really do lend themselves to pure improvisation. After all; set the delay pedal to a long delay, and all of a sudden, you're Pink Floyd. The band play well off each other, hitting chaotic cues with remarkable clarity, progressing through musical sections with relative ease. Of all the movements, 'The Chase' comes across as the most cohesive composition, even erring on the side of post rock, with relaxed instrumentation and a charming atmosphere. There's no excessive amount sonic saturation here that may deter those usually wary of improvised music. And while Fractal is hardly going to be as 'tight' as one might expect from such an artist, it seems to be a competent late night chill out soundtrack, without the elevator-muzak implications.

In terms of what I was expecting from this release, the cohesiveness and pleasant nature of the music was a surprise. It's not brilliant, it's a little one-paced and doesn't really push the listener beyond a causal "oh, that was a nice percussion fill" or quiet appreciation. Fractal appears to be a scaffolding. The external shape is there, some of the plastering is taking shape, but the building still needs to be constructed.

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