Amusement Parks On Fire
Out Of The Angeles


4.0
excellent

Review

by robin EMERITUS
December 27th, 2008 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A spacey second direction for the Nottingham quartet

Such huge chasms of sound unravel on Out of the Angeles that my immediate thought is, weirdly, Deathconciousness. Of course, the similarities between Have a Nice Life and this predating release are superficial; both bands seem to cover a flurry of shoegaze, ambient and even post-rock within their own blend, and both in a somewhat accessible nature. In reality, though, it’s the raw noise that both albums join at: as listening to “I Don’t Love” from Deathconciousness is walking into a six minute haze, listening to Amusement Parks on Fire’s sophomore effort in its entirety covers the same feeling ten times over.

It enters exactly that way – the opener is initially misleading where small, quaint ambiance meets amplifiers. “Out of Angeles” is scattered energy – electrifying guitar work swirls around the room and ultimately the only restraint for it becomes a sharp beating of the drums to separate intense verses from intense choruses.

The only thing that moves between the transitions with little flair is Michael Freerick’s vocals; they’re practically lost with whatever turn the album takes. In “A Star is Born” all is left of his voice is a soft moan, his words taken away by his band mates’ shoegaze creation, above his voice and above the brim. For “In Flight” his voice actually replicates the music; it’s a continuous hum with sly changes that can barely be heard and ultimately ask the question: is all this distortion really necessary" It’s probably been pointed out to the quartet the numerous acts they do in fact sound like: the weirdly tested accusations of Dinosaur Jr. influence on their most famous “Venus in Cancer” are pretty useless to the masses wishing for a perception of their sound, and easy comparisons to the giants of one of their prominent genres are hushed a little with Out of the Angeles – their debut may have been something of a mix-up in this respect, but here the Loveless inspiration is beyond relaxed.

This is because now, Amusement Parks on Fire have a little more clarity to their sound. They scale their ideas with a little more intelligence on their second bout; on their debut, tracks such as “23 Jewels” and “Venus in Cancer” were being forced to fit to one another, but were distant in musical theme and failed to make a clinical match. Here, the flow is subtler – the seamless movement from the distortion in blasting rocker “Blackout” to the swirling build up of “Await Lightning” – a post rock track – is truly seamless. This constant loud-quiet pattern encompasses the Nottingham quartet’s moves – “To The Shade” is again a more rock orientated number, followed somehow unnoticed by the eerie “So Mote it Be”. The group almost feed off unpredictability.

Supposing the old habit of melodically merging tracks together is the band’s way of making their album meditative, flowing art instead of singling out emphatic songs, Amusement Parks on Fire have an experimental mind that is used for creating buzzy pop. Whether denied or not, the compositions that say nothing - mainly of a spacey, post-rock variety - are simply climaxes for the brilliant, foggy anthems. It’s best when they don’t need an introduction though, as “Out of the Angeles” and “A Star is Born” prove. Both have no direct initiation, and create all the more sparks for it.

In these aspects, Out of the Angeles is a far cry from its older counterpart for all the right reasons. Unfortunately, where the band knew their limits on Amusement Parks on Fire, Freerick hasn’t quite figured out what or where the last word should be for 2006. The album could end at the powerful “Await Lightning”, with enough shifts of layer to make a finale – but instead the band take another fifteen minutes to get packed up. Out of the Angeles basically floats on for far longer than it needs to, and it’s probably wiser to return to rotating the rest of the album straight after the band are really done on this track. Bar its dead-end, the album is more than just a wall of noise – or perhaps it just needs it. “A Star is Born” certainly triumphs because of it – it’s the only way the band can jump in, crank every single instrument up and drown out Freerick – he’s murmuring I don’t want to talk loud anyway, so nevermind.



Recent reviews by this author
Matt Douglas Affirmation (with Discomfort)Kacey Musgraves Golden Hour
Angelo De Augustine Swim Inside the MoonJeff Rosenstock Worry.
Okkervil River AwayOren Ambarchi, Kassel Jaeger, James Rushford Pale Calling
user ratings (38)
Chart.
3.9
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Athom
Emeritus
December 27th 2008


17240 Comments


this looks up my alley.

Electric City
Emeritus
December 27th 2008


15762 Comments


10 tracks of "I Don't Love" caused a stir in my pants, you better be right about this.

robin
Emeritus
December 27th 2008


4528 Comments


there are less 'woaoao ao aoaoaooooo's but hopefully you get the idea.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
December 27th 2008


4970 Comments


sounds interesting piano tuner

alexkpoly
December 27th 2008


25 Comments


I think you exaggerated how drowned out his voice is, I think it sounds just fine. I've only listened to a few tracks, but so far so good. "Star Is Born" is a really good track.

spoon_of_grimbo
January 1st 2009


2241 Comments


awesome review man. i love this album, it's so relaxing. i heard the title track a few months before the album came out, on a sampler, didn't get the album until a few months ago, and instantly regretted not getting it sooner.

i think this is one of those records where the artwork is absolutely perfect for the mood of the record, too.

gaslightanthem
January 1st 2009


5208 Comments


looks pretty bleak

spoon_of_grimbo
January 1st 2009


2241 Comments


not so much the front cover, but the artwork in the booklet - a lot of it is sort of a view of a city in twilight/night from the hills, which have got those weird, vaguely-lamppost-looking alien things watching. kinda spooky, but not rly bleak. just sort of... otherworldly i guess.

robin
Emeritus
January 2nd 2009


4528 Comments


i dont think its that relaxing personally, but i can see how it might work that way. you should check out their debut album man, its consistently awesome

spoon_of_grimbo
January 2nd 2009


2241 Comments


i find i can just put it on and zone out - i'll still take in every second of it, but without actually having to put effort into listening. kinda strange. one of those records that's great to listen to at night, i find.

yeah, i've been meaning to get the first album for a while. also been trying to find the b-sides from the in flight and star is born vinyl singles. i don't do vinyl, but there's seemingly nowhere to download them from (legally or illegally). all i have is a shitty myspace rip of "alafoss exit."

Yotimi
May 28th 2010


7464 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"To the Shade" is so good

BigHans
November 9th 2010


29393 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This rules. Await Lightning ftw

lucsam
December 1st 2010


2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

When I listen to this album I can just close my eyes and have vivid visions of me soaring high through the atmosphere and space.

PurpleDrank
December 1st 2010


417 Comments


^word. album is rulesause

SCREAMorphine
December 8th 2011


1804 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Beautiful



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy