Amber Pacific

Virtues

Written by: TL on 11/05/2010 01:03:56

When I last reviewed Amber Pacific, the band was receiving bad marks elsewhere that I found to be completely unjustified as their injection of true punk speed and good old sincerity, into the pop punk formula, made for a very consistent, enjoyable and repeatable record - the appropriately titled "Truth In Sincerity". Since then, the band have lost a singer and gained another, signed to Victory Records and gotten rewarded by them with some cover art for their newest album "Virtues", which any teenage girl would probably die to have on her diary.

Nevermind that though, truth be told, even I think it's sort of pretty. But what of that new album I hear you ask? Ah well, to state the predictable, some things are the same, others have changed. Most notably of course, Jesse Cottam have taken over the vocal duties after Matt Young left to become the principal at a school. Cottam sings more than proficiently, but I'll say right off the bat that his voice has less character than the youthful croon of Young (... sorry), and it draws the sonic impression away from full on pop punk and over in the direction of radio rock instead, which I'm not a fan of.

The main problem for Amber Pacific though, is that by now the pop punk market has bloomed tremendously, and there are only too many bands out there rehashing the same ideas that AP have dealt in from the get go, and on here, underneath the smooth production values and the veteran craftsmanship, this is still very predictable by the numbers pop punk. The openers "An Anthem For The Young At Heart" and "The Girl Who Destroys" are both bouncy and joyous, and "Three Words", "What Matters Most" and "Conviction" all shine respectively because of a great chorus (that reminds me of Yellowcard's "Five Becomes Four"), a proper fast punk beat, and some good rockin' momentum.

The remaining songs however, do feel slightly uninspiring, though they never drop into territories either boring, unenjoyable or overly cheesy. All together, the songs on "Virtues" join up to present pop punk created with surgical precision and know how, yet very few new ideas and a personality that is slightly too modest to compete with that of current leaders of the pack, such as All Time Low. It's something you will like listening to for a little while, yet hardly remember a few weeks or months down the road.

7

Download: Three Words, What Matters Most, Conviction
For The Fans Of: Yellowcard, All Time Low, Cartel, There For Tomorrow
Listen: myspace.com/amberpacific

Release Date 13.04.2010
Victory Records

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