the Amends, a new, local (well, Boulder-local) indie-prog-punk-rock band. Their new EP, which is now available for free digital download, is humorously titled The Creatively Titled "Full Album Coming July". Considering that this is the first toe-in-the-water for the Amends, a big first hurdle that can trip up any band like a drunk trying to navigate a cone slalom, The Creatively Titled "Full Album Coming In July" is a great EP. All four songs have distinct character and virtue. And other than some slightly bland lyrics to open "Hey Regina," the Amends have created a fairly flawless, definitely enjoyable batch of tracks. And that's no easy feat. Over the course of the EP, the band [Andrew Weikart (Vocals/Lead Guitar), Tyler Taylor (Vocals/Guitar/Keys), Shay Byington (Drums) and Chris Childress (Bass)] also demonstrates somewhere between 3 and 4 distinct musical styles. Diversity is always a virtue. In music, it keeps a band fresh and the Amends definitely never sound repetitive on Full Album (yes, I'm abbreviating). I will always defend the choice to have four completely different kinds of songs as their sonic business card, but it's not without its risk.
"Dance" feels like the power anthem that will one day close the Amends shows during the encore. It's an energized, frenetic, bounding pop-punk piece with confident vocals and wandering, charming guitars. It has designs on being a Strokes track, but knows when to drop back a bit to fill with subtle keyboards. The solo, breakdown, coda at the end is especially well put together. Definitely a show closer, or an opener that leaves the place breathless. "Hey Regina" feels almost the opposite. The lyrics are a little awkward and off rhythm. And the song breaks down into a bar crooner kind of sing-a-long. It isn't bad on its own at all. It's a fine song, that just feels incomplete and outside the confident facade created by "Dance." "Real Life" is the second best track on the EP. Crushing guitars. The return of that grungy, confident voice. More great keyboard accents buried in the guitar. The "Love me, leave me, drive me crazy, do it all, that shit don't faze me" breakdown represents what the Amends can do with lyrics and rhythm. It's great stuff. And "Hotel Lobby" with its saloon, jangly piano (nearly piani, really) is an excellent piece of work. On the EP, is a live version from Herman's Hideaway here in Denver. And even with the decent sound quality, it's a track that makes you wonder what other interesting directions the Amends can reach.
The bottom line is that the Amends are a new band doing great stuff. Four songs is hardly enough to make a fair judgment. But if I had to consider this an appetizer, I'd definitely stick around for the main course to show up. I recommend you do the same. You can check out the Amends via MySpace, Facebook and Bandcamp. And listen to the EP for yourself right here. Shazzam.
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