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Amplifier - Amplifier Special Edition

Amplifier - Amplifier Special EditionOriginally released back in 2003 on the Music For Nations label, 2005 sees the very same album plus an extra disc containing four new tracks and two videos released on the German label SPV. Last year, Amplifier had one of their great songs on the free give-away new prog CD from Classic Rock magazine, with featured other bands such as IQ and The Flower Kings.

So, Amplifier are a classic rock sounding band with influences like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Police and splashes from bands such as King's X and the Foo Fighters to make comparisons, but their sound is one of the best I've heard for some time. With support to bands such as Therapy?, I would say they suit the rock crowd more than your 'prog' audience, but with their 70's input, they should appeal to a lot more people.

Ten tracks on disc one clock in at under the sixty four minute mark, and from the opening Zeppelin plod of Motorhead, the album sets the scene for the remaining hour. The trio of Sel Balamir (guitar, vocals) Neil Mahony (bass) and Matt Brobin (drums) perform intelligent music and great lyrics, and by the time you reach the forth track Old Movies, the musicianship and thoughtful lyrics shine through. Old Movies contains the slow start, and the powerful guitar chords mid-seventies Zeppelin style, and is a strong track without a doubt. Post Acid Youth is also a thoughtful eventful track, as the lyrics wrap around the impressive guitar techniques, and to point out lines such as 'Watching the cobwebs blow away' just flow with ease. Neon is a good rocker, with the Police style riffs which join the vocals in a nice harmony, and forthcoming single The Consultancy also flow nicely. Those two tracks are on the second disc as videos, and are worth watching!

The final two tracks are just epics, One Great Summer (which was the track featured on the Classic Rock CD) and UFOs. One Great Summer is slow atmospheric sounding with some nice bass playing from Neil, but Sel's vocals tell the story in the amazing lyrics. Highlight for me is the final and longest track UFOs with it's slow build-up and harmonics, which lead into the opening lines about Martian Men in U-boat pens which evolve into a nice harmony of vocals and a pleasant guitar solo before the grand ending of powerful riffs, and vocals with lines such as paper trails in cotton skies make this a great track in anyone's book!

Disc two contains the two videos which I mentioned before, plus four new tracks which take up nearly nineteen minutes. Boomtime is a Sabbath/Zeppelin/Foo Fighters cross with the powerful guitar riffs, great harmonies and just first class all round playing. The remaining three tracks of Half Life, Throwaway and Glory Electricity are just mind-blowing examples of classic rock music.

It has to be said that SPV are on a winner here, Amplifier mean business, and with a forthcoming tour just around the corner (2005), they are worth checking out. The album should sell very well, and as it is nicely packaged too, I can see that this year will be an important one for the band.

Danny Mayo



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