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AMBERSHIFT No More Fuss Bunker BUNK17

Ambershift's 'No More Fuss' is already their second album, so plainly I have some catching up to do. This power pop quartet have penned a batch of excellent catchy pop rock songs and deliver them with all the passion and verve you would expect of a young band breaking out of the blocks.

The 10 track album has a nice sense of balance and good use dynamics with each song building up nicely and as part of a greater whole, with the album hanging on a mid-set climax on the hugely impressive 'Russian Doll'. One of a handful of potential singles 'Doll' opens with an electronic keyboard riff before settling into a powerhouse, riff driven rock groove in which the rock solid rhythm section drives the band forward relentlessly. Lord's exclamatory 'What you do to me girl' acts as the perfect dynamic to take the song up a notch.

And while guitarist Andy Wright's tasteful guitar work is reminiscent of U2's The Edge, Ambershift's songs are crammed full of strong melodies, good choruses, and enough fiery dynamics to allow the band to stretch out.

The title track is a case in point being a subtle blend of edgy punk powered pop tempered by a very strong melody, an edgy repeated riff cycle and a fine vocal contribution by bassist Dave Lord whose employs some intuitive phrasing to bring alive the lyrics.

Ambershift are simply a breath of fresh air in as much as they take a diverse number of influences and make them into something both interesting and unique. There's a real feeling of enthusiasm and creativity here, from the tonal colourations to the original compositions. If there's a slight downside it is simply that they rely on some unrelenting tempos to push their songs forward. Not so much a case of unrelenting swagger as unbridled enthusiasm that jumps out of the grooves. On 'Play Dead' the band combine some dark lyrics with a more considered musical approach, suggesting that there is more to come in the song writing department.

Had the likes of The Police, Joe Jackson, The Undertones,U2, Franz Ferdinand (take your pick) not already explored some of the band's musical terrain, they really might be hailed as something really special. As it is Ambershift are a fine band on the up escalator. They play with a real sense of purpose, write some excellent material and have the ability to rock out with the best of them as evidenced on '15 Stone & Six' as they surge forward in a maelstrom of dirt sound guitar riffs, and cymbal splashes.

'No More Fuss' is an excellent effort from one of the North East's up and coming bands. File under one to watch.


Review by Pete Feenstra

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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