The Amends - The Amends

Just a couple weeks ago, I reviewed the Amends free EP, a collection of four songs that hinted at greatness, but also left me hungry for a clearer angle on the band's music. Releasing on July 23, and available for pre-order through their bandcamp site is that clearer angle in the form of a self-titled debut full-length. And the surprise with The Amends isn't that it's good, it's just how good and insightful it can be. Those moments of musical experimentation that were so thrilling on The Creatively Titled "Full Album Coming July" are everywhere on The Amends. And they appear to greater effect, tapping into just about every layer of post-punk, true-rock, sad-sack revelation and garage-door-exploding power riffing. Shared from the EP are "Dance," "Hey Regina," "Real Life" and a well-assembled studio version of the excellent, pseudo-olde-timey "Hotel Lobby." And, as they were before, they represent as the "holy shit, who are these guys?" tracks that will grab your brain. But wait, don't pick up that phone now, there's more!

Opening The Amends is a track called "Depraved" that rides a crunchy riff and swift, debonair vocals to a phenomenal, but brief guitar bridge. It possesses an undeniable groove and an exceptional lyric: "Love is just a metaphor." Following the brilliant "Dance" and "Hey Regina," is "Bored & Mean," which shows an incredible maturity and insight in lyric writing, chronicling the break down of a relationship in no uncertain terms. It's also perfectly decorated with keys that fit perfectly into the backdrop of once more groove-powerful guitar. Really. Great. Track. Then "Real Life" blows every one's minds, just as much as it did on the EP. "Down in the Water" lives by growling vocals and a potent drum line. It toes the line between punk and garage perfectly and features an incredible, dare I say "Wolf-Parade-ish" breakdown to end the track. But, then HOLY SHIT (and I don't drop the H-S bomb much here) the grunge and mellow groove returns with "Don't Tell Him," a song that drips with Black Keys-style blues/rock fuzz excellence. It also almost makes the role of "that guy who steals the other guy's girlfriend" seem heroic.

"Fall My Way" has a similar kind of passionate appeal at its core, but this time more sweetly and desperate. And the chorus is an instant catchy breakdown with a set of disparate and intriguing keys to fill in the gaps. And again, a great set of lyrics. Prior to "Hotel Lobby" in the closer position, is "Dandelion Man," a song with a great "Wild Horses"-era Rolling Stones vibe, but also the most harried lyrics. The song feels rushed at times, which works with the sort of desperate plea and stream of consciousness tone of the track, but the chorus, becoming so measured and carefully plotted, detracts somewhat. Still, this is a track that does some amazing things with music, taking full advantage of the keys/guitars combo that drives the Amends' sound. And then, we get "Hotel Lobby," which is phenomenal as a studio track too, though the vocals may be mixed a little high.

Tyler Taylor, vocalist, keyboardist and guitarist in the band says, "What we’ve tried to do with our first album is to create a kind of love letter to rock n roll—an attempt to create something new from the music that’s inspired us. Song by song, you’ll hear some blues, some punk, some indie anthems, some screaming guitar solos, some jangly pianos, and some old fashioned rock n roll. And it’s our hope that by the end you’ll also hear a unifying sound beneath the melodies and varying styles." He pretty much sums it up perfectly, which makes me glad that he's playing the music and not blogging about it. Check out their new album through their bandcamp site for pre-order and give some of these tracks a listen here in the stream below. But, really, throw these kids some cash because it's worth all of our time to find out what they can do with another record.

Latest tracks by The_Amends

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