Reviews Amplifier Echo Street

Amplifier

Echo Street

This review is part of my coverage of the 2013 Progressive Music Awards, on 3 September.


Amplifier is one of the few bands in the small but noticeably growing post-progressive scene (proving, once and for all, that "post-" can be appended to anything). It's music that firmly falls into the progressive rock camp--you won't be at a loss for extended pieces, odd time signatures, and musical prowess--but also utilizes the dynamic movement and repetitiousness of post-rock. The fusion creates notably complex and progressive music with the same feeling and emotional effectiveness of post-rock, a truly powerful combination that, at its peak, can create some of the most arresting music possible.

And Echo Street is one of the finest realizations of this genre yet. Every single song on this album moves like a tidal wave, building up and rolling over the listener, crushing them with the force of a dozen untethered musical crescendos. The music starts very softly--the beginning of the album is literally inaudible--but Amplifier are in no rush. They take their time in exploring the aural space around them, building their music in an inexorably increasing cycle of gradual builds and shallow denouements, until the combined weight of their mountainous music collapses in on itself in a beautiful, musical climax.

"Extra Vehicular", the twelve-minute epic, is probably the standout song on the album, moving itself through a half-dozen climaxes before finally releasing the listener from its powerful grip. But it's far from alone as a quality track--"Mary Rose" has a strangely attractive, slightly off-kilter melody, and the title track manages to hit the hardest while using only lyricless vocals. In fact, not all of the pieces have to be that relentlessly cyclical nor needlessly complicated--"Paris in the Spring", a largely acoustic-based ballad forming the centre of the album, is about as basically effective a piece as anyone could hope for, based solely around a simple, gradually-building refrain of "Where the river goes, I go".

Granted, some songs aren't quite as satisfying--"Never & Always" takes entirely too long to reach its payoff (around eight full minutes until we hit the truly gratifying progression) and sounds weak doing it, and "Between Today & Yesterday" never quite arrives where it needs to. But even considering the lack of true payoff, the journey still manages to be memorable, which is more than I can say for many albums.

Echo Street has a nod for album of the year at the 2013 Progressive Music Awards, and I can completely understand why. This is a flabbergasting piece of music, and certainly the best out of Amplifier's career. While I don't think it's the best of the year, it's certainly damn close; progressive fans everywhere must own this album.

Recommended if you like: Big Big Train, modern AnathemaOceansize

9.0 / 10Sarah
Advertisement
KFAI - Undead
Leave a comment

Kscope

2013

9.0 / 10

9.0 / 10

Share this content
Advertisement
KFAI - Root Of All Evil
Recent reviews

The Wheelz

Twenty/Twenty EP

8.0 / 10 The Wheelz - Twenty/Twenty EP album cover

This was a hard review to write. It’s not because this EP is bad, but because it’s so damn good. The pandemic has left us all dying to go to ...

Honshu Wolves

Cosmic Creature Capture

8.0 / 10 Honshu Wolves - Cosmic Creature Capture album cover

Over the grassy knoll, down the weed tangled pathway, and to the right of the small babbling brook lays a large one-hundred-year-old oak tree. It has widely been known that ...

Street Eaters

Simple Distractions EP

7.5 / 10 Street Eaters - Simple Distractions EP album cover

The info surrounding this EP talks about how Street Eaters have changed. The band formed roughly a decade ago, so there’s always going to be evolution and whatnot -- and ...

Related news

Tours Black Moth and Amplifier hit UK this April

Posted Feb. 21, 2015, 2:46 p.m.

Amplifier will be joined by Black Moth for a UK tour this April. Amplifier released their fifth full-length in 2014, Mystoria.

Records Amplifier set to release Mystoria

Posted Aug. 12, 2014, 7:57 p.m.

Amplifier will release a new album titled Mystoria in Sept. It is the band's fifth studio album. The group released Echo Street in 2013.

Labels Amplifier join Superball

Posted April 27, 2014, 9:45 p.m.

Amplifier have signed with Superball Music for the release of their upcoming fifth studio album Mystoria. The band will also be playin gon May 10 at the Beyond the Redshift ...

x

Logo

Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.