The Amazing – Ambulance (2016)

Indie rock in the digital age, in all its abstract ambiguity, has grown to be largely influenced by its own evermore deferring to the passion of not owing to anything. It’s everything I love about it, however, can leave one longing for a more tangible sense of authenticity.

With kudos to pop-culture and the saturated commercialisation of music nowadays, such records need to be unearthed before they’re found unless they find their way to you first. For The Amazing’s new LP Ambulance, this is a special occurrence of the latter, woven in everything I love and long for in a great record.

The opening title track and single ‘Ambulance’ introduces the sad, psychedelic shoegaze vibe lusciously laden in a wash of reverb, tape and technicolour. Landing a breathtaking and fitting first impression to the record. ‘Divide and Tracks’ unconventionally perpetuate this weary feeling for a bit longer but are totally right in doing so. The last time I visited, the void of sadness was never quick like ripping off a band-aid, but dreary and exhausting with recovery bleak at best.

‘Blair Drager’ and ‘Moments Like These’ stand out as more upbeat songs throughout the album, but never fall out of context. Like fleeting moments of warmth in a spiral of depression, before it slips away from you again. ‘Perfect Day For Shrimp’ realises this too, only with the criticism that it subsists as an umbrella for two songs disjointed and ending the record far too abruptly in a super linear fade-out, like an editing error. On a more positive note, ‘Through City Lights’ shines as a more stripped back, borderline post-punk take on The Amazing’s reprise of the human condition. Serving as a breath of fresh air from the consistent wash of guitar reverb.

‘Floating’ is my favourite track for this album. The dry yet steady drumbeat, chorus harmonies and guitar hook all cultivate this song’s perfection. What strikes me is the artistic value that’s been poured into the song, sonically hearkening back to the earliest days of stereo, with vintage written all over it. These technical qualities play a huge part in reinforcing the song’s authenticity, which is something that tends to get lost in music these days. ‘Floating’ executes this perfectly.

The Amazing’s Ambulance is a breathtaking LP that addresses the human condition with a sad sentiment of the end credits to a film. Vibes of The National, The War On Drugs and even Nothing are detectable but turned on their head in an old school wash. Overall, an amazing record (no pun intended).

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