Tuesday, 16 June 2009
Amazing Baby - Rewild
Amazing Baby - Rewild review:
Two things become apparent very quickly on listening to this album. The first, I feel, is the sheer number of influences on show here, everything from ethereal Pink Floyd-isms to Damon Albarn-esque affected accents. The second, is that these influences in no way take over the record and claim it for themselves. No, this is entirely Amazing Baby’s record, and what a record it is. All the elegance of Broken Social Scene wrapped in the pop magnificence of Phoenix (who, coincidentally, they are about to/are currently on tour with), which is fairly large praise, I suspect. Either that or I’m just terribly sycophantic, but I do not feel this is the case, I just like picking good albums to review!
Rewild opens up with “Bayonets”, which combines a mixture of guitars, strings, synthesizers and samples to achieve its aim of setting the tone for the album. A task it manages with aplomb, all soaring melodies, chunky guitars and choruses. Conversely, “Invisible Palace” opens with enough pomposity and bombast to be make it worthy of a more over-the-top Arcade Fire moment, before dropping away into a very understated verse undercut by some gentle brass the chorus puts the OTT back into overdrive. A marvellous contrast of moods that revels in the glory of Pink Floyd. “Kankara” lies somewhere inbetween the two previous tracks, utilising big riffs, drums and, well, big everything, before dropping into a racy, upbeat verse and continuing through cyclically.
“Headdress” centers around a chorus comprised of one the greatest riffs of the year offset by reverb drenched backing vocals, and works stunningly. Also see; great use of subtle piano in an indie song. “Deerripper” is a full on ride through a crazed indie journey before “Old Tricks In Hell” brings us gently back into the wig of things with a beautiful intro and some more reverb drenched backing vocals on loop. The Narwhal is a predominantly acoustic affair which picks up two thirds of the way through and goes out on some lovely melodies
Next up is “Roverfrenz”, which simply sounds like it is destined for big things. A big song, with brilliantly gentle vocals, and a brooding yet upbeat track bubbling away behind it. “Smoke Bros”, the albums penultimate moment, comes across like the underground “Common People” for the new wave of indie before “Pump Yr Brakes” takes us out with a mixture very large guitar and a feeling of culmination. It takes a while to get here, but this is easily the peak of the album, as the guitars entwine themselves around one another while the drums provide the bombast and the vocals just drop in as though part of the music itself.
If you were erring on the edge of going to see Phoenix on tour, the prospect of seeing this rather epic record should have you buying the ticket and waiting outside the venue a day in advance.