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Amplifier - Amplifier CD (album) cover

AMPLIFIER

Amplifier

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.69 | 155 ratings

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The Crow
Prog Reviewer
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: ****1/2, rounded down to four stars.

The Crow | 4/5 |

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