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Booker (Vancouver, BC, CAN)

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Variations on a Dream
Variations on a Dream
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £26.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take a chance, 4 Oct 2007
This review is from: Variations on a Dream (Audio CD)
What a great find. PT (not to be confused with the most excellent Porcupine Tree) is a hard-to-get item over here in Canada, but I took a chance based upon a recommendation, and I'm sure glad I did. The production is not "large record company/super shiny" quality, but that's what makes this album so amazing. Fans of Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, et al, take note. Sure, Soord sometimes evokes the two lead singers from the aforementioned bands, but he's also got a quality all his own. The arrangements and ambient effects created by the fact that this album was produced in Soord's own house lends itself to a much more loved approach.

Highly recommended.


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, 4 Oct 2007
This review is from: Insider (Audio CD)
But that's a bit of a disappointing statement. Their debut album was one of the best I've heard in years, and is something that I listen to constantly. Their EP "HAL" was equally stunning, with just a tad more edge to the overall production. "Insider" is a good album, but where are the deftly written anthems, where are the infectious lyrics and musical moments? There are some good tracks on here, but not a one is the equal to any of the songs off the debut. Hopefully the third full-length rumoured to be available in January '08 has Amplifier returning to form. And no, I don't think that they've exhausted their space-progressive rock angle... not by a long shot. Bring it on, boys!

Price: £14.18

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Deal!, 2 Oct 2007
This review is from: Amplifier (Audio CD)
For a debut one expects a strong sound, some well-developed ideas, and a promise of future endevours. Amplifier kicks the nuts out of that expectation and delivers raw power, exemplified by just a wonderfully fresh sound that draws from the likes of Zeppelin, Sabbath, and Floyd.

Once you hit play and the opening chords of "Motorhead" blast you back you know you're in for something incredible. The wave of music subsides and Sal Balamir's voice is calm, controlled, and strangely soothing in such an epic sound. Everything feels anthem on this song, and it's only the first. Neil Mahony just smothers the low end with heavy-as-anything bass, and Matt Brobin on drums channels Bonham and crushes the drums.

The next track, "Airborne" stretches itself and and delivers a lighter tone, at least at first (hee-hee).

"Panzer", "Old Movies", and "Post Acid Youth" give us incredibly different flavours of this band, and then...

"Neon". Powerful and the shortest song on disc 1.

The rest of the album surely bares mentioning but that would rob any newcomer to an unknowable experience.

Disc 2 is no slouch either. Any one of the four songs is better than just about anything put out on the radio today. And "Glory Electricity" is just titanic... best b-side I've ever heard.

How "Neon" didn't become a huge hit in North America completely puzzles me. Granted, most of the other songs are not radio friendly purely based on length. But any label (I'm talking to you Sony) that doesn't recongnize the sheer power and what this could bring in touring coin alone if the band was well marketed (perhaps, even a sell-out word towards developing another sub-four minute "single" could've help) speaks of an underdeveloped intellect as well as that instinctual something that just hits you in the gut when something this good comes along.

Oh well. I can still soldier on and spread the good word as best I can. Granted, it doesn't help that their second full-length wasn't half as good as the debut (but the EP "The Astronuts Dismantled HAL" was almost if not as good as the debut), but this shouldn't matter. This is a band that deserves just a landslide more attention than what they're getting.

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