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Amplifier - Amplifier CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.68 | 174 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
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.

obiter | 5/5 |


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