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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best UK Rock Album since the 1970's, 27 Jan 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Amplifier (Audio CD)
I heard of Amplifier through the musicians channel and the single Neon. Their debut album is the best since Radioheads 'Ok Computer'. Lots of great bands out there but few great albums. With Zeppelin style drumming, Pink Floyd style trippyness, beautiful and varied songs. Also Hendrix big muff & other fx driven guitar, and a great voice really similar to Grant Nicholas from Feeder (this is the band Feeder should have been). Reminds me of Smashing Pumpkins Live circa Mellancollie (what a great combination of bands!).
If you like stuff like Oceansize and Porcupine Tree you will love Amplifier. Maybe their current low profile is the result of boyband metal and punk being the in thing now for teenagers. They deserve to be huge...they could do a Dark Side of the Moon next im sure!.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Loud and Growling Surprise, 28 April 2009
This review is from: Amplifier (Audio CD)
I'm not a huge fan of heavy rock; I tend to listen to the quieter, more melodic veins of rock music. However, every once in a while, some loud and growling surprise jumps out at me, screaming `You there, pay attention to me! I'm every bit as good as your usual, easy-on-the-ears listening!' The self-titled debut from Amplifier was one of these surprises.

My first thought upon listening was `How does a three-piece make so much noise, and make it sound so good?' Frontman Sel Balamir uses a variety of pedals and effects to switch the sound of his guitar at will, yet it doesn't sound overly synthesised; there's something raw and menacing about it. The slow, low growling of Motorhead sets the tone for the album, before the building epic "Airborne" (personal favourite track) readies listeners for the pounding war march that is "Panzer".

It's not all intense listening, though. More restrained tracks such as "On/Off" and "UFOs" are also present. You certainly won't be listening to this album for something quieter, though - these tracks give a bit of breathing space and some time to recover before that snarling guitar launches you into another bold and boisterous riff.

The vocals are another strong point - Balamir's baritone voice holds its own against the noise of the instruments, and varies from calm and controlled to overwhelmingly intense. The lyrics are also great, in my opinion, being very unique whilst not too obscure. A theme of industrial imagery flows throughout, which makes the album very much a whole.

I could say more good things about pretty much all the tracks - the psychedelic "Post Acid Youth", the screeching, high-octane sound of "The Consultancy"... and then there's the bonus disc as well. Whilst not as good and what I consider as `too epic' at points, it's still a good addition to the package. Definitely worth buying.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best guitar albums of the last few years, 3 Jun 2004
By 
This review is from: Amplifier [Digipak] (Audio CD)
The biggest tragedy here is that Amplifier probably won't get the exposure that they merit. This explosive and powerful debut is not only one of the best rock albums of recent times but also one of the best British albums I've heard lately.
The music is big, that's the only word for it. Huge wide soundscapes of multi layered guitar, bass and drums, overlaid with clear soulful vocals. Not a duff moment in the whole 71 minutes, a real rarity today.
For reference, you could say that the Amplifier sound has Soundgarden's drive, Pearl Jam's grit, Mogwai's atmosphere, a bit of psychedelia and a little magic of their own.
I first came across them as a support band and I was bowled over by the sheer power of their live performance. The only other band I've seen with as much guts is Muse. Like Muse, Amplifier are also a 3 piece. The album captures ths spirit well.
Amazing stuff and deserves every one of the 5 stars.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Deal!, 2 Oct 2007
By 
Booker (Vancouver, BC, CAN) - See all my reviews
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars album to have in any serious music collection, 6 Sep 2005
This review is from: Amplifier (Audio CD)
Bought this album after reading some reviews and watching The Consultancy video at [...] Watch this and be converted. The album grows and grows on you. Who needs more than three guys to create a full and terrific sound? Sels voice is unique and rich. Matt and Neil blend perfectly to make a very powerful trio. Im always on the lookout for new rock and progessive music. Besides Porcupine Tree, these guys are at the top of my list. Cant wait till their EP and new album come out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Turn this up to 11, 16 May 2004
By 
K. Mair - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Amplifier [Digipak] (Audio CD)
This is, quite simply, a wonderful album. Some of you may have heard the magnificent album by Oceansize, Effloresce (which is also essential)- if you like that, you'll love this. Im not sure whether it has something to do with the fact that both Amplifier and Oceansize are from Manchester and are friends, but the truth is, this is brilliant music.
My favourite songs are Motorhead, Panzer, Old Movies and The Consultancy, but this album flows with such consistency that it's impossible not to just listen to it all in one go, again and again. If you love loud rock music, look no further. And even if you like softer music, this has some pretty excellent melodies. I dont know if you can even compare this to other bands, Amplifier play it their own way. Maybe you could say they are a cross between Tool, Cave In, Hundred Reasons, Pink Floyd, Audioslave, and Radiohead. But that's as close as I can get. Listen for yourself.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best rock debuts. EVER!!!, 28 Jun 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Amplifier (Audio CD)
This is one of those very rare beasts; an album with absolutely no weak tracks. From the opening feedback of Motorhead to the epic last few bars of UFOs, listening to this album is an amazing experience.
It's hard to pigeonhole Amplifier. I hear elements of classic rock, like Cream and Mountain, whilst others think of Jethro Tull.
It is criminal that this band have remained such an unknown they deserve to be huge.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great band, 19 Mar 2014
By 
Emmanuelle Tulle (Falkirk, Scotland United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Amplifier (Audio CD)
I will keep this short: if you don't know this band already, give them a chance. Punchy rock but also melodious with some great guitar. What's not to like?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Under-rated excellent band, 12 Aug 2013
By 
Mr. S. M. Collins (Nottingham, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Amplifier (Audio CD)
This is fine stirring music but not for the easy-listening clan.
This a fine album and captured their sound at the time - quite heavy.
Fans argue but I think that this and Echo Street (their latest) capture their
sound the best.
Why they aren't more famous is a mystery
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stunning debut, 6 Dec 2011
This review is from: Amplifier (Audio CD)
I discovered Amplifier through a forum of the now defunct band Oceansize, so I checked a few clips on the usual websites and then made the plunge by purchasing their most recent offering, the pretty impressive double cd, Octupus. I am still impressed that this cd was seven quid for over 2 hours of decent music. I was even more impressed that this album was made by 3 guys, quite a sound for a 3 piece. So after watching them live in Nottingham a couple of nights ago I bought this cd, their debut album, i'm even more blown away than with the Octupus cd, which is still excellent. It's a great debut that should appeal to fans of heavy rock music as well as prog fans. I don't think there is a weak track on the cd. So if you like bands like Oceansize (such a shame they split up), Porcupine Tree, Tool, then give this a whirl. Also, don't turn down a chance to see them live. So whilst the Octupus album is great, it meanders from time to time, this is a little less refined but goes straight for the jugular. This a true powerhouse of an album. Give it a go, turn the amp up to 11, enjoy and spread the word.
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Amplifier [Digipak]
Amplifier [Digipak] by Amplifier (Audio CD - 2004)
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