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Amps For Christ - The Plains Of Alluvial CD (album) cover


Amps For Christ


Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

2.86 | 3 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
3 stars AMPS FOR CHRIST began in 1995 basically as the one-man project of Henry Barnes who stemmed from both the hardcore punk band Man Is The Bastard and its uglier harsh noise offspring Bastard Noise. The eclectic mix of sounds that made up this project was created to explore the disparate sounds of Barnes' noise and metal passions with his additional appreciation of various forms of ethnic folk, classical and jazz laid out in a rather Indo-raga compositional context.

Over the years AMPS FOR CHRIST has put out quite a few releases with THE PLAINS OF ALLUVIAL being their debut. It was only released on cassette in 1995 which is somewhat rare to track down and finally repressed onto vinyl in 2016. While clearly falling to the realms of the underground, AMPS FOR CHRIST scored in 2006 when Animal Collective invited the band to open for them on a West Coast tour which ushered in a newer generation of followers.

Musically THE PLAINS OF ALLUVIAL is a treasure trove of sounds that has found many labels to describe it with genres ranging from drone and electroacoustic to avant-folk, experimental rock, noise rock, art punk and even no wave. While all these sorta give a hint as what to expect, none really convey the fusion of the elements involved. The musical compositions range from traditional Celtic songs to Segovia type classical guitar tracks with some exhibiting highly applied feedback and fuzz much like a band like Boris and some truly fitting into a more Pagan based avant-folk like Natural Snow Buildings.

This debut is a strange beast as it contains 22 short tracks with most only lasting a minute or two. While some tracks like "Sitron" are straight out of the no wave playbook with angular rhythmic guitars jostling around like loose electrically wires and "Oscilin" sounding like some strange alien noise rock, most of the tracks are firmly based in some sort of Celtic folk setting to some degree with the occasional acoustic classical guitar appearances.

One thing that unique is that Barnes experiments with waveform manipulations and messes with instruments until he gets the desired sounds out of them which give the music a strange alien type of feel. Through the clever mixing of stringed instruments, pre-ampls and amplifiers he creates some strange and unnerving sounds that are utterly indescribable and some soft sensual traditional that sound fairly standard. Basically this debut will be only of interest to lovers of harsh noise rock as the meditative Indo-raga aspects don't really shine through on this one. Some cool stuff on here but sorta inconsistent as well.

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |


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