Some general impressions
This is the third (major) album of the band. Very clear after the first listening is, that the sound has changed. Not that the songs can not be identified to be Donots sound, or a complete new style. But where the previous records "Pocketrock" and "Better days not included" sounded like 'We're all gonna have a good time', this record has sme songs with more serious topics and more 'darker' sounding music to that.
Yet the main focus is still on the usual Donots songs. 'Saccharine Smile', 'Big Mouth' or 'The Up Song' are the well known songs that just fit along a good mooded day. Or to a party. Or to just freak out to at a gig. Between those are songs, that sound more like ballads or mellow tracks('Hours away', 'Someone to blame'). On songs like 'Lady Luck', 'My Stereo's a liar' the main topic is what happened to the 'old' days, when things really where better. And easier.
Really new terrain is explored on "Armageddon", "Worst Friend/Best Enemy", "Private Angel" or "Rollercoaster". These songs sound much more serious then the other ones from the first note. Which is, like I mentioned before, the first time the Donots do something like that. (Except for the bonus track on the Pocketrock Limited Edition, but that does not count :)) Not done bad. Those tracks are, even with the melancholic touch, along my favorites on this album. Especially "Worst Friend/Best Enemy". Very cool guitar riff.
As I own the Limited Edition Version of this record, I have two bonus songs. Nothing really new there. Although I wondered, why such great tracks are only on the special version of this record, and not in the regular track listing.
What I really like about the album:
The exploration of unknown territories in form of more serious sounding songs is great. The band overall seems to have matured. Different and more interesting topics are discussed in the lyrics, and a more critic view on the world is shown. The instumental playing improved also, and many new ideas are shown. Again, nothing that has not been there before. But done very good IMO.
What was not so good:
I always stick to a certain mood. So, if I listen to a more 'darker' song, I'm always about to skip the 'happy' ones to the next dark one. Even if this mix is good, and done pretty good on this album, it brings it's problems. A bit more experimantation would be nice as well. (Some more complex bass patterns for example ;))
"Amplify the good times" is a rock solid example for punk/rock music made in Germany, and amongst my 'All-time-favorites'. This album combines two aspects: Getting a smile on your face with fun- and good mooded songs, or supporting the rather thinking days with more serious tunes. Either way, this album does a good job.
My suggestions to get an impression of the different musical aspects: Worst Friend/Best Enemy (kinda melancholic), Big Mouth (rockish), Someone to blame (mellow, nearly ballad style), Up Song (one 'typical' Donots song)