Album Review
by SashaS

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Amplifier: the future of BritRock's here
Amplifier: 'Amplifier'
Amplifier: the sound of GB rock, indubitably

Amplifier were one of the unfortunate bands that got caught in the collapse/takeover of Music For Nations label and its existence was rather short - only few shelf months before being pulled off. More than a year later, the self-titled album is re-released with additional EP.

Having been hearing this album few tracks at the time - via series of promotional CDs of three or four tracks - I’ve been really dying to hear the whole lot, without going illegal by burn my own bootleg. Finally, 'Amplifier' is ultra rare, it made the wait that much more worth it. ‘Amplifier’ could well be the best rock album of the UK year, as it should have been the last.

Opening with ‘Motorhead’, it glides in slowly, on an emo-vibe before morphs into this huge display of power that takes you over with its dynamics. Its intent is evident - to redefine this little thing called BritRock music and to prove to the few successful bands (Muse comes to mind) how it should be done. A two-plus minute intro of gentle interplay between the three principle members on ‘Airbourne’ takes you literally higher until you are landed within the stoner garden that grows into this Led Zeppelin-esque finale Jane‘s Addiction would have killed for to be able to recreate.

This eight-minute epic is followed by ‘Panzer’, an ‘old-friend’ of a live favourite that blitzes like it is soundtracking apocalypse, ‘Old Movies’ is haunting, lonely cut, ‘On/Off’ is mutated-blues whilst ‘Neon’ surges into mystical domains where giants inhabit… ‘UFOs’ ends this tremendous collection on a serenely trippy note.

The Manchester trio is led by guitarist/vocalist and co-producer Sel Balamir - with Neil Mahony on bass and Matt Brobin on drums - who have made an album that is passionate, engaging and thrilling in equal measures. Having toured extensively - and played the Download Festival last years and myriad of their own dates - ‘Amplifier’ sounds like a disc made by a band that’s paid its dues.

The list of their influences is long and it stretches from Led Zepp to The Verve to Tool to Nirvana, from Joy Division to (the original) Bad Company to Soundgarden to Queens Of The Stone Age to Radiohead… The bottom line is - it all ends sounding Amplifier-like.

“You have to speak the truth, your own truth, whatever that is,“ explains Balamir. “Music is the step away from the general sh*tstorm that we all live in. But most importantly, our record is that step, but determined in our own direction. Our Teleporter. Our Articulation. Our Business.”

Yep, this album is THE biz. You can stop wondering whether ‘GB rock’ stands for ‘Great buy’ or ‘Good-bye’.

The additional EP - ‘Amplifier’ was originally released on 10 May 2004 by Music For Nations - contains four audio tracks and two video clips ['The Consultancy' and ‘Neon’] that give even more rounded overview of the band’s creativity.


Amplifier CD ‘Amplifier’ is re-released 04 July 2005 by Steamhammer/SPV