The Amazing – Ambulance – Review by Killian Laher
The Amazing. The amazing what, you might ask? Moving beyond the slightly annoying name, The Amazing are a Swedish band who have just released their fourth album. The title track hooks you within the first minute, all ringing, echoey electric guitars, steady, insistent drumming, gentle keyboards and Cristoffer Gunrup’s soft, velvety vocals. These elements combine perfectly to create a downbeat, immersive bed of sound. Nothing here is in much of a hurry, the soaring, sky scraping guitars of Divide pick the pace up just a little, the overall effect is deeply reminiscent of Red House Painters/early Sun Kil Moon.
Third track in, Blair Drager disrupts the mood with its busy trip hoppy beat and slinky, blues guitar licks, almost sounding like a different band, and doesn’t quite gel with the rest. But after this the album just picks up where Divide left off – Tracks has another gorgeous, immersive guitar pattern, Grunup’s vocals retreating to the background as the music takes centre stage.
For those who like wistful, melancholic guitar mood pieces, songs like Floating and Through City Lights press exactly the right buttons. We finish with two acoustic-based, two-part pieces, the uptempo Moments Like This harks back to classic Simon & Garfunkel fingerpicking, before fading out and returning in slightly darker form. It fades into final track Perfect Day For Shrimp, which is slightly darker, once again evoking Mark Kozelek comparisons.
Eight tracks feels like just a taster, leaving you wanting more. Although it’s a summer release, Ambulance will come into its own as the days grow shorter over the next few months. An exquisite slab of moodiness, keep this one close by.
3. Blair Drager
6. Through City Lights
7. Moments Like This
8. Perfect Day For Shrimp