Penfold
Amateurs and Professionals


4.0
excellent

Review

by Skimaskcheck USER (19 Reviews)
November 22nd, 2009 | 104 replies


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: '...and for the first time in my life, I want to cry and laugh at the same time'

Sadness is one of the easiest feelings to portray through music. A minor key, a slow tempo and a sad vocal melody and you're done. But doing it convincingly and well is another story. Whilst not ever daring to breach the walls of indie/emo, Penfold's Amateurs and Professionals constantly generates a solemnly pretty and emotionally grating atmosphere, and although they may be following the footsteps of their counterparts, they are sure to cement their own flavour in along the way.

Their 'flavour' being one that flickers between sweet guitar melodies and loud, raucous sections but is always carried by voice. It's understandable how some may find the vocalist's timbre a little repetitive, perhaps whiny at times, however we've all heard people say that about Jeremy Enigk. Vocal melodies are the real driving force behind the songs for the majority – the other instrumentation merely providing a backdrop for the singing that sometimes seem to shimmer ever so slightly out of tune, but to positive effect. The clean and crisp production of it all is a necessity because of this, allowing the typical indie-band instrumentation to come to life even in the musically simpler sections.

The potential highlight of the EP, "I'll Take You Everywhere", follows a similar descriptive tale, with the guitarists providing a canvas of delicate arpeggios whilst the vocalist paints the track with his sombre melodies. Comparisons with art would not be too inaccurate actually; however subjective 'art' may be, most can agree that art is about expression. The well crafted climax of this song complete with its tasteful gradual tempo increase and dominant vocal shouts will ensure you that Penfold definitely express.

Not only do they work their magic of empathy at a low gear, they are also fully capable of packing forceful energy and musical skill into their songs for added feeling. It's not uncommon for music to lose some of its emotion when the band is clearly hiding behind simple dynamic changes and a wall of distortion, however Penfold utilise their sense of loud instrumentation sparingly, to good effect. Such a moment reveals itself in the intense "Traveling Theory" [SIC], where they accompany the loudness with evolving drums, pleasant yet strong chord progressions, and multiple, overlapping vocals.

This won't be the most original thing you've ever heard, and nor will it be the most heart-wrenching, but it's an inspired release of feeling and mood. Like the EP title suggests, some parts are amateur, and others professional. But Penfold are definitely qualified sorrow-stirrers. Amateurs and Professionals is just another album to coincide with your rainy day.



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user ratings (155)
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
SlightlyEpic
November 22nd 2009


5810 Comments


Awesome review for a great album, nice job man! I'll Take You Everywhere is suchhh a good song.

SeaAnemone
November 22nd 2009


21413 Comments


looks interesting... nice review... *adds to To-Do List*

Skimaskcheck
November 22nd 2009


2364 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys! Especially you Slightly, seeing as you rec'd me this haha, cheers!

rasputin
November 23rd 2009


14968 Comments


yeah this is a great album

AnvilJ
August 16th 2010


124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good to see a review of this. I concur with the sentiment of the last paragraph.



I am considering the other album/EP but can only find it downloadable.

Sheeple9000
August 16th 2010


1349 Comments


http://www.sputnikmusic.com/list.php?listid=48893

AnvilJ
August 17th 2010


124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

That's very cool. Thanks.



I've never quite met another band who can pull off emo so delicately without drowning in their own perspiration.

Iamthe Nightstars
January 4th 2011


2805 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't know why it took me so long to discover this. It's great.

Pianoforte
May 29th 2011


1 Comments


Unfortunately, this album appears to be unavailable on Amazon. Oh, the frustration!

F0RBES
September 12th 2011


279 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome album. I'll Take You Everywhere is so fucking good.

Iamthe Nightstars
November 25th 2011


2805 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

and it's toooooooooooooo late to tell you that I care!

xstaytrue18x
May 30th 2012


583 Comments


this is great sounds a lot like mineral too.

Spare
May 30th 2012


5567 Comments


yea fukken p good record

minty901
June 8th 2012


3720 Comments


probably the best 90s emo album. this >>> power of failing

ShadowRemains
July 28th 2012


25026 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

AND I WISH YOU WERE HEEEERE

Iamthe Nightstars
July 29th 2012


2805 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'd say it's about equal to TPOF. The last four songs are good but don't really live up to the first three.

ShadowRemains
July 29th 2012


25026 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i'll take you anywhere is the saddest thing

Paracletus96
August 3rd 2013


306 Comments


feels man

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
October 11th 2013


56928 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

sofa king good

Digging: Daniel Johnston - Songs of Pain

ShadowRemains
October 11th 2013


25026 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

dem feelz



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