Written by: TL on 01/11/2006 20:02:19

Okay, to begin with I'd like to fill everyone who has no clue about who Amplifier is, in on how this is a band that was severely hyped when they released their epinymous debut back in 2004. A band that soundwise is located somewhere between Tool and Taproot, and even though in some places Foo Fighters have been mentioned, please take no notice, because someone must have been quite drunk when making that particular reference. The debut album was credited with excellent reviews throughout most of the music press for its original sound and excellent songs, and now, two years later, the sophomore album "Insider" has been released, and it's time to decide what has changed, and if it is for better or worse.

Before arriving at that subject however, I'd like to dwell on the things that haven't changed at all since the last time we heard from the band. Despite the promo material stating that the sound is the dark counterpart of the previously recorded material, Amplifier pretty much sound like themselves. The riffs still remind you of good old fashioned stuff like Wolfmother and Led Zeppelin, and Sal's voice still makes you think of Dave and the golden days of Pink Floyd, so at first, everything seems to be in order here. As usual, the guys have dismissed any sort of respect for conventional songwriting, and instead donned an arsenal of interesting sounds and effects in order to craft their trademark spacy soundscapes.

There is however one dominating problem with this CD. Somewhere between the debut album and this one, the band must have misplaced some of their songwriting skills, because where the tracks on the first cd had no problems standing out, after having listened to "Insider" several times, I still have trouble recalling anything from it. When you do disown classical song structures, in order to take your audience on an audiotive journey, you have to be able to write inviting and captivating songs. You have to be able to grab your listeners' attention by the balls and not let go until you've gotten your message across. These abilities are quite noteably absent on this record, and as such, I don't really think any song here made an impression on me, besides the closing "Map Of An Imaginary Place". What this album did succeed in was reminding you of the greatness of Taproot's "Blue Sky Research", but that hardly earns Amplifier any credit. Sadly they've joined the vast ranks of bands existing these days, that can brag of having unique and fascinating 'sounds', but lack the capabilities of writing songs that stick. A definite step down for a band like Amplifier.


Download: Map Of An Imaginay Place
For the fans of: Taproot, Tool
Listen: N/A.

Release date 02.10.2006
Steamhammer / SPV
Provided by Target ApS

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