Review Summary: Almost unrecognizable from the bands old sound. New vocalist is a huge change but not necessarily a good one.
Amber Pacific seems to be a band nearly forgotten at this point, releasing an album very few people new of (or cared about). They were known by few for writing catchy pop punk tunes, saved from becoming too "poppy" by the tremendous skills held by the drummer. Their most recent effort features a new vocalist which i'm sad to say, can't be saved by the man behind the drum kit. Lets face it, the drummer can only do so much.
To be honest the loss of the bands previous vocalist proved devastating on their recent effort, "Virtues." Matt Young who provided the band with inspired lyrics and catchy choruses left the band to pursue a career in education. The group heard on "Virtues", Amber Pacific's debut for new frontman Jesse Cottam and second guitarist Davy Rispoli, sounds very little like the band that recorded 2007's "Truth In Sincerity", and it's really not such a good thing.
Regarding the instrument work on the album there is plenty you will find here. On the track "Conviction" the band finally tries to rock out and makes it semi-convincing that they are actually rocking out instead of trying to make a song "the kids will sing along to." *See Before their eyes track "New kids in town."
Drummer Dango kinetic still throws in the same crunchy drum beats any past fan of the band would remember but the attempt on his part seems lost in their new radio-friendly sound. The band spends far too much time on ballads like "Forever" and "Shine" which seem to feature very little genuine emotion. The sappy piano, string work is enough to put the listener to sleep. The upside is that when the band speeds things up, they still do a fairly good job of it that even mast fans may appreciate.
The vocal style is one reminiscent of Craig Mabbit (though not quite as bad) in a sense that he is trying to sneak his band onto The Warped tour with sub-par lyrics that really offer nothing new. No doubt "Virtues" may appeal to a whole new audience but the old Amber Pacific is gone.