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Psychedelic/Space Rock • United Kingdom

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Amplifier biography
Formed in 1999 in Manchester, UK

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: 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

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AMPLIFIER Videos (YouTube and more)

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Trippin With Dr FaustusTrippin With Dr Faustus
Rockosmos 2017
$17.57 (used)
The Astronaut Dismantles HALThe Astronaut Dismantles HAL
CD 2005
$7.35 (used)
Steamhammer Europe 2010
$10.27 (used)
Ampcorp.Industries 2011
$11.92 (used)
Superball Music 2014
$3.49 (used)
Echo Street ( Cd Media Book )Echo Street ( Cd Media Book )
Special Edition
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Steamhammer Europe 2010
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Octopus-Media Book EditionOctopus-Media Book Edition
Ampcore 2015
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Record [VINYL]Record [VINYL]
Rockosmos 2018
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AMPLIFIER discography

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

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

3.68 | 152 ratings
3.54 | 108 ratings
4.02 | 459 ratings
The Octopus
3.80 | 198 ratings
Echo Street
3.61 | 66 ratings
3.79 | 75 ratings
Trippin' With Dr. Faustus

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

3.75 | 8 ratings
Live In Barcelona 2013
4.00 | 6 ratings
Live At The Exchange

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)

3.33 | 9 ratings
The Consultancy
3.38 | 8 ratings
3.87 | 57 ratings
The Astronaut Dismantles Hal
3.50 | 2 ratings
Everyday Combat
4.51 | 48 ratings
3.75 | 42 ratings
2.75 | 4 ratings
3.32 | 22 ratings
3.63 | 8 ratings
3.57 | 7 ratings
Residue (Part Two)
5.00 | 1 ratings
Rainbow Machine
0.00 | 0 ratings


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Trippin' With Dr. Faustus by AMPLIFIER album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.79 | 75 ratings

Trippin' With Dr. Faustus
Amplifier Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I've been a big fan of this band since I heard their debut back in the mid 2000's. I still feel their 2003 debut is their best album and one I rated at 5 stars. Well, many albums later and here we are in 2017 with a new AMPLIFIER recording. Yay! Gotta love the album cover and the title of this recording. I guess they changed from a trio to a four piece starting with their 2013 album called "Echo Street" as the new member adds more guitar and more vocals.

"Rainbow Machine" opens with distortion that builds followed by drums and bass. A powerful soundscape is the result. Vocals arrive before 1 1/2 minutes as the powerful sound continues throughout. Nice start! Distortion and power end it as it blends into "Freakzone". Soon rumbling drums lead the way in this powerful soundscape. Vocals just before a minute. Man this is heavy stuff until they slow it down after 7 minutes as it winds down to the end.

"Kosmos(Grooves Of Triumph)" opens with guitar and atmosphere then it kicks in heavily. Vocals a minute in. I like this a lot, in fact it's a top four song for me. Like the previous track we get a very heavy sound until it settles back before 4 minutes although this is still heavy. It kicks back in with vocals before 4 1/2 minutes to the end. "The Commotion(Big Time Party maker)" has this heavy groove that kicks in fairly quickly. Distorted guitars join in as well then vocals a minute in. Catchy stuff. A calm 3 minutes in but it's brief. Love the guitar before 5 1/2 minutes to the end as he rips it up.

"Big Daddy" has lots of distortion and power as usual but we get female vocals this time for a change of pace. Nice guitar starting before 2 1/2 minutes and that bass is amazing as well. Vocals are back! "Horse" is another top four tune for me. Love this one, the lyrics are great and I like that there's some space to breathe here as we get some good contrasts between the heavy and less powerful(haha). The drumming kills after 3 1/2 minutes as the guitar screams away.

"Anubis" starts with acoustic guitar and a beat. Where's the power? Vocals are mellow too as they join in this catchy song. "Supernova" is another top four. This one is different with the synths and higher pitched vocals. Check out that opening line "Hey Mona Lisa, how's it hanging?" No wall of distorted guitar as instead we get upfront bass and a powerful atmosphere. Love the guitar and power 4 minutes in but it settles back quickly to end it.

"Silvio" opens with a guitar melody then vocals and pounding drums take over. It turns heavier before a minute. I like this one, it's different. Drums and vocals lead the way again before 2 1/2 minutes then it turns heavier as themes are repeated. "Old Blue Eyes" is my final top four. Oh my! Check out the distortion as the drums pound. Vocals join in quickly but that distortion will continue throughout. So good! Check out the guitar after 4 minutes to the end. Goodnight that's good!

If you like your music on the heavy side with an Alternative/ Psychedelic vibe then you really need to check this band out. A solid 4 stars!

 Trippin' With Dr. Faustus by AMPLIFIER album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.79 | 75 ratings

Trippin' With Dr. Faustus
Amplifier Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by javajeff

4 stars This is another solid album by Amplifier. I think the songwriting is just superb, and some of the lyrics will stick in your head. I have let this one marinate for a while before writing this review as I wanted to see how it stacked up to some other releases this year. It is not Amplifier's most progressive release, but anyone looking for a well written collection of songs with excellent musicianship will love this album. While it is not the Octopus, it contains very memorable melodies like Freakzone, Kosmos, and Anubis. They have such an addictive quality to their music, that I usually get drawn in. Trippin' With Dr. Faustus is definitely trippy, from the cool yellow cover, to the hard-hitting psychedelic jams. it is an excellent album for those looking for something fun with a wall of sound full of ear candy galore.
 The Octopus by AMPLIFIER album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.02 | 459 ratings

The Octopus
Amplifier Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Porcupineapple

5 stars "The grand benchmarks against which all British progrock albums will be judged", says the opening line on the cover of the original album. Bit cheesy and exaggerative, yet not far off from the truth.

First of all... double cd rambling on for two powerful hours? Yes please! The first cd takes a strong headstart with the Pink Floyd rip-off (ok, let's say inspired by) "Minion's song", to then lead the listener back to the more Amplifier-sounding tracks of "Interglacial spell" and "The wave". After a bit of this fill, the scene is now set for a brutal prog-piece, the title track "Octopus". Certainly not throwing the listener at the deep end right away, we are talking about a very slow build-up, which ends in some extremely strong prog-atmosphere, ticking and ticking towards the refrain, which then blows up in your face like a bomb with its beautifully built riffs after five minutes of slow expansion. The rest of the cd holds some mediocre and some more amazing moments alike, "White horses at sea" certainly belonging to the second one with its dreamy Floyd-like atmosphere again.

Then as you move on to the second cd, it will be hard not to notice that the opening 20 minutes are nothing short of a sheer prog-miracle, starting with "The sick rose". Eastern sounding soundscapes butter up the way for a series of increasingly heavy riffs, ending in a jaw-dropping and epic finale... Amplifier at their best. Not allowing you to rest much, the ride takes you right on to a much more playful song, "Interstellar". It is another favourite of mine with its bubbling riffs, which are toying with the listener through half of the song, not knowing where to go, then eventually settling for a less dark but definitely groovy finale. As for the rest of the cd, whilst not much else will stand out ("Fall of the empire" has a few cool bits though and I certainly love "Oscar night") I will still give the whole album the maximum rating... because it is just so damn well put together and because some of the songs are amongst the best ones I ever heard in this genre. Amplifier wanted to make a masterpiece that they can be measured against, and they did. And whilst they could (and probably should) have got rid of some more mediocre moments to result in a somewhat shorter but more spotless album, it does not change the fact that the strengths of The Octopus make this album outstanding enough for the band to be measured against it for the rest of their career... and yes, maybe even those other British bands.

 Echo Street by AMPLIFIER album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.80 | 198 ratings

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?.

 Sunriders by AMPLIFIER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2013
3.32 | 22 ratings

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.

 Amplifier by AMPLIFIER album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.68 | 152 ratings

Amplifier Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog 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

 Echo Street by AMPLIFIER album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.80 | 198 ratings

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!

 Echo Street by AMPLIFIER album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.80 | 198 ratings

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.
 The Octopus by AMPLIFIER album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.02 | 459 ratings

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!
 Echo Street by AMPLIFIER album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.80 | 198 ratings

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

Thanks to king16 for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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