The Amber Light

Play

Written by: TL on 03/06/2009 17:40:33

"Play" is the name of the second album of The Amber Light, and the first record of theirs that I have laid ears on. The band is a British/German four piece with roots in the indie rock underground, and their promotional material claims that they have previously toured in support of a variety of bands, however the only one of those that I recognize is Wir Sind Helden.

Not that this is of any major importance. What matters is how The Amber Light sounds like here. Already from track one, "Moody", we're treated to dark and melancholic rock, driven by distorted guitars and hypnotic lines from both them and the bass. The rhythm is held together with some solid drumming and overall the package is completed by a lead singer that seemingly draws equal amounts of inspiration from Brian Molko (of Placebo) and Morrissey. Indeed, Placebo was the first band I thought of when I first started listening to The Amber Lights, but aside from the similarity in the odd vocal line and in the general dark atmosphere of the music, the comparison doesn't reveal a perfect match. For that The Amber Lights are much more mellow, much less sleazy and in your face lyrically.

Instead, TAL make it their business to provide you with a varied listening experience throughout their album, by turning down the distortion and relying more on samples and other electronics here and there. This is also where they are their best in my opinion, shown by the extremely Morrissey-ish "Waste" and the extremely Placebo-ish "No Love Lost".

The only problem I really can say this band has, is that I think they could effectively play the dynamics a bit more. "Play" is a very European album in all of its underplayed subtlety. The kind of album that would've been written in a more edgy manner by Placebo in England, and would've been taken way over the top stateside by Kill Hannah. The kind that only really comes to life in a live environment where the band lets loose a bit more and you can hear the strained passion in their delivery. Don't let any of that stop you from getting it though, especially if you're into melancholic, minimalistic indie pop/rock because the songwriting and composition of this is rock solid and it will provide you with a tight and enjoyable listening session, even if it won't be one to blow you of your feet.

7

Download: No Love Lost, Waste,
For The Fans Of: Placebo, Morrissey
Listen: myspace.com/theamberlights

Release Date 27.04.2009
SPV Records

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